Last tax season was a mess. Now is the time to prepare for it.



Imagine a family donating $ 5,000 to charity at the end of each year. Instead of making this donation this month, this could happen in January and then another donation as usual in December next. For the fiscal year 2020, the family would then have $ 10,000 in special deductions.

The same logic can be applied to certain medical expenses. In 2019, you can deduct that portion of your expenses that exceeds 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (if you choose to do so). For example, if you are planning an elective surgery, it may make sense to consider the timing.

"Dental bills," said Larry Pon, an accountant in Redwood City, California.

There is a way for some older taxpayers to pause charitable donations even if they don't provide information. People over 70½ years old can make so-called qualified charitable distributions – a direct donation from an individual retirement account to a legitimate charity. There are two advantages: Donations of up to $ 100,000 a year are not included in taxable income, but count toward the prescribed amount that you must pay each year (also known as the minimum payout).

"This opportunity was good business before the tax reform, and now it can be even more relevant and useful," said Joe Musumeci, accountant at Rowles & Company in Baltimore.

There are no longer many salary periods available, but employees can reduce their taxable income by paying more into their employer-sponsored pension account (e.g. 401 (k)) before the end of the year. The contribution limit for such accounts is $ 19,000 in 2019, or $ 25,000 if you are 50 or older.

And there is still a lot of time to contribute to I.R.A.s. afford to. Contributions to traditional IVS can also include a tax deduction if you comply with income limits and other rules. For 2019, contributions to traditional and Roth IRE can be made until the April 15, 2020 tax cut-off date. (Be sure to tell your provider that the contribution is intended for the 2019 tax year.)