As the year comes to an end, it's important to make sure you have considered all the steps that can help strengthen your finances. Here are a few ideas to make the most out of 2017 and beyond:
- Review Charitable Giving
Contributions that you want to be deducted on this year's tax forms must be made by 12/31. If you have had a strong year financially, it could be a great time to give back to your community or favorite charity. Many wonderful organizations, including the Local First Foundation, count on these dollars to serve our communities.
Local First Arizona Foundation’s program, Science Happens Here, is a game aimed at youth in rural communities to participate in more STEM related activities. Students collect trading cards with science information on them related to local businesses in their communities. Students are rewarded with science experiments like squid dissections, seen above.
- Review Tax Credit Planning Opportunities
Arizona allows taxpayers to make contributions to nonprofits and schools that can reduce your state tax liability or even increase your refund on a dollar-for-dollar basis! Many of these contributions can be made up until April 15th of the following year, but check with your accountant now to see how you can take advantage of these credits.
*Visit https://www.azdor.gov/TaxCredits.aspx to learn more from the State's own website
- Review Required Minimum Distributions
If you or your spouse are 70.5 or older this year you must take required minimum distributions from your Qualified retirement accounts or incur a 50% penalty tax on what was supposed to be distributed this year. If you aren't 70.5 or older, but want to be the life of an upcoming holiday party consider reminding all of your loved ones who are over age 70.5 of these important rules!
- Make a Plan to Fund Your Retirement Accounts
If you utilize IRA's as part of your savings plan you can fund 2017 contributions all the way until April 15th, or when you file your taxes if before April 15th. Check with your accountant, but some and maybe even all of your contributions may be deductible. Here is a helpful tool from our website to help determine which IRA's you may be eligible for: IRA Eligibility
- Build Your Budget and Family Goals for 2018 Now!
Building budgets, increasing savings, starting to invest, and planning for large expenses next year should take place now so that you don't feel behind when 2018 rolls around. Having a plan will make sure you kick off 2018 the right way!
If this all seems a little too overwhelming fear not. You have a local financial planning firm at your disposal to help guide you through these topics and many more. With a little planning and dedication you can finish 2017 strong, and be ready for the new year!
Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NEXT Financial Group, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC
BLAKELY WALTERS is not an affiliate of NEXT Financial Group, Inc. Neither NEXT Financial Group nor its Representatives give any tax or legal advice.