For Mark Roberts’ Use: Tax time is here, and that means we’re all pulling out our checkbooks with a feeling of dread. You may already have some idea of whether you’ll owe the IRS or draw a refund. You definitely know that you need to file your taxes or ask for an extension by April 15. What you don’t know, however, is that changes to the tax code might change what you owe this year.
In particular, the changes involve taxes on net investment income. This change will impact individuals with more than $200,000 in adjusted gross income, or married couples with more than $250,000 AGI. Capital gains, interest income, dividend income, passive business income, and even rental income will be counted as “investment income”.
This increase on investment income tax may mean that you underpaid your taxes during 2013, and you could face a big tax bill this spring. The best strategy at this point is to get to work on your taxes and calculate your amount due. Then, if you need to, you can take advantage of these tax savings strategies before the April 15 deadline and lower your tax bill:
Contribute to a traditional IRA. You might be eligible to contribute up to $5,500 to a traditional IRA, or $6,500 if you are age 50 or older.
Contribute to a SEP IRA. If you’re self-employed or own a small business, you can contribute up to 25 percent of your income to a SEP IRA fund, up to a limit of $51,000.
Contribute to a health savings account. Individuals can set aside $3,250 dollars in a special account for health-related spending. For families, the limit is even higher at $6,450. Those aged 55 or older can contribute an additional $1,000. This is a great way to lower your tax liability while also setting aside money for healthcare expenses.
Remember, you have to open these accounts and deposit the money by April 15 in order to take advantage of the potential savings on your tax return. Talk to a qualified tax professional to decide if any of these options are right for your situation.