Tax Advice: What You Can And Cannot Do This Late In The Year, And What You Should Do

Law Blog

Tax advice in December seems so arbitrary, but really, it is not. There are still some good things you can do right now to offset what you earned and possibly do better on your taxes. There are things you can and cannot do—and plenty of things you should do—before you file your taxes for this year.

You Cannot Take a Deduction for Your Holiday Travels

Nice try, but traveling for the holidays is not a tax deduction. Traveling for business during the holidays, however, is another thing altogether. If you have to fly to three major cities in the two weeks leading up to Christmas and during Hanukah, then you can deduct your expenses for that, even if you stay with family while you are conducting business. You may just want to stay in a hotel though since you cannot create an expense report for staying with family. 

You Can Donate until It Hurts

One of the biggest offsets of income is donating money, items, and time. You can take very large deductions equal to what you donate, which is why the rich and famous are so engrossed in causes. It reduces their tax burden, and you can reduce yours as well. If you have anything at all that you can give away or donate, you only have until midnight on December 31 to do so. 

You Should Change Your Exemptions

If you suspect that your tax burden is going to be quite the burden this year, then maybe you should consider changing your exemptions. Ask for a W2 form from your employer. Change your exemptions to the least possible number you can. For most people, this might be one or two. Yes, you will immediately feel the pinch, but it will help a little when you file this year's taxes—and it will definitely help when you file next year's taxes, too.

You Should Have Your Tax Situation Assessed for Audit Risk

An accountant or tax lawyer can look at your financials and assess what your audit risk is. Very few people take advantage of this service, assuming that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not going to bother auditing them. Then they are surprised when they are audited. If you have your accountant or tax service look everything over before you begin to file, you can find ways to reduce your audit risk, which tends to alleviate a lot of your stress.


3 December 2018

Improving My Life With A Great Lawyer

Although many people don't think of having legal counsel as improving their life, I have found that it has really helped me to feel empowered as a business owner. Without my lawyer, it was really difficult to figure out what I could say and what I couldn't say, and it really made things hard when I was out and about trying to make business deals. Fortunately, after I found the right lawyer, things became a lot more straightforward. This blog is all about improving your life and streamlining your business with the help of a great lawyer. After all, you never know when you will find yourself in court.