We’re in the final two weeks of 2005 and a tax-preparation expert suggests Iowans make a few money-saving moves before the year ends to make tax time a little smoother in the spring.
Jeff Strawhacker, a certified public accountant in West Des Moines, says a few simple moves now can significantly help your financial picture come April. Accelerate deductions and consider paying your January mortgage in December so you get that interest deduction, or lump your medical expenses so you get all of the benefit in one year.
Strawhacker has prepared many thousands of tax returns for clients but admits, his prowess with the stock market is less than stellar. If you tend to pick losers in the stock market, Strawhacker says if there are lost positions sitting out there, you might think about selling them before year’s end to generate some capitol losses and help reduce your taxable income. He says Iowans also need to consider a few of the tax advantages that might be right under their noses and involve just a little paperwork to save a lot of money.
If you can take part in a flexible spending account or a cafeteria plan through your employer, do so as he says they are excellent saving vehicles. Such plans allow workers to sock away pre-tax money for certain expenses, like eyeglasses or medical bills.