Sunday, December 13, 2009

2009 Year End Tax Planning Items

As 2009 comes to a close, there are several items that we wish to remind our readers about before 2010 rolls around:
  • Charitable Donations - Please make sure you give your charitable donations (whether cash or non-cash) prior to December 31 and get a receipt or letter from the charity acknowledging the gift. Donations can be cash (via cash, check, or credit card) or non-cash (stocks, household items, cars, etc.). You will need the receipts for your 2009 tax return.

  • Annual Gifts - If you are in the habit of giving annual gifts to your children, grandchildren, etc. for estate reasons, those "annual" gifts need to be made prior to December 31 also. The limit for 2009 is $13,000 each gift. Call or email us with questions if you need more information.

  • 2009 IRA Contributions - Have you made your 2009 IRA contribution? If not, why are you waiting? This is something that is best to get done early in the year instead of waiting. In fact, the best thing to do is to make your 2009 contribution now and make your 2010 contribution in three weeks. The limit for 2009 is $5,000 except for those that are 50 and older where the limit is $6,000. The same limits will apply for 2010.

  • Contributions & Investments in Your 401(k) - Are you contributing the max to your 401(k)? Have you reviewed the investments that you have? Do you have a 401(k) from an old job that you need to rollover? These are all things that you should be considering, and these are all things that we are here to help you with. Let us help you review your current 401(k) contributions and allocations, and if there are old 401(k)'s out there, it is definitely time to consolidate them.

  • Bonus Depreciation - If you are self-employed or an owner of a business, the stimulus bill extended the first-year depreciation of 50% of the cost of new equipment purchased and put into service in 2009. This bonus provision is in addition to normal depreciation and tax deductions available under Section 179 of the tax code. It applies to purchases of tangible personal property such as equipment, computers, telephone systems, and office furniture. This is highly technical though and prior to purchasing anything, we recommend discussing this with your accountant to make sure your purchase will qualify.

  • Need an Accountant? - If you are wondering about how the new laws and provisions in the tax code will affect your taxes and you, then you may very well need an accountant. There is a huge difference between a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and just a tax preparer at a some local office. Our sister company, Rollins & Associates, is a CPA firm and can discuss the issues above as well as your particular tax situation with you. Call our office at 404.892.7967 to discuss your specific questions or make an appointment.

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