Wow! It’s nearly the end of 2014. Where does time go? We always wonder that.  Remember 2000… it seemed so far away in 1979, and now it seems to far away in 2014. Well, here we are, year end in 2014, and it’s time to think of some fun (well sort of fun), last minute tax tips.  Especially those of us who live in high-tax states like California and high-tax cities like San Francisco, the end-of-the year is an important time to do some housekeeping and get ready for the tax preparation season.  Here are some tax tips, especially for Californians and San Franciscans.San Francisco Tax Tips

  1. Touch base with your tax expert (that might be us). Taxes are as unique as hair styles and clothing… so touch base with your tax professional to pre-assess your situation and look for any last-minute opportunities.  This is especially true if you have the opportunity to take, or defer, compensation including stock options. Do you take them in 2014, or push them into 2015? That depends, and that’s why you should reach out to your tax specialist.  We have many San Francisco residents who work for hi-tech companies like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google and may have stock options, for example.
  2. Medical Expenses and Others that Might be Time-Deductible. Certain expenses, among them medical, have thresholds, and by pushing or postponing expenses into one year or the next you can meet the thresholds, and get the deduction.  For example.  Again, each situation is unique, so let us do a complete analysis of your situation to find out where you might have some tax-savings opportunities.
  3. Think 2015 (vs. 2014).  Will your income rise, or fall in 2015? We know it’s hard to predict the future – but to the extent that you can, again you can decide whether to take – or push forward – expenses (and income).  This is especially good for writers and creative-types in San Francisco who have wide disparities in their income, year to year.
  4. Retirement, retirement, retirement!  Many of us can participate in corporate or individual retirement plans, again pushing income into the future. Generally, if you have an employer match, you should almost ALWAYS take that, but in other situations like ROTH IRA’s, it depends.

So, as you begin thinking about Thanksgiving Turkey and the holiday season… start thinking tax 2014 (and even tax 2015)!