As 2016 comes into view, it’s time to think about three important things: taxes, taxes, taxes (and losing weight). Our January tax tips newsletter touches on three of the four of these issues (guess which ones?). First up is the perennial issues of the deductability of taxes paid.
Deducting State and Local Taxes
Most of us who live in high-tax California, pay plenty in state and local taxes – all the more so, because as housing prices have recovered, so have the assessments by the local tax authority. When you file your 2015 federal tax return, you can either a) take your standard deduction, or b) itemize your deductions. For almost anyone with a reasonable income and property in San Francisco, the latter is the way to go. We make it easy for our clients: they simply bring in their tax receipts (often as easy as downloading your local taxes from your mortgage company), and we do the rest. If you are lower income, you may go with the standard deduction. Many clients do not know, however, that renters can often benefit from the sales tax deduction: provided that they kept receipts year-long to prove their sales tax paid. The IRS even has a nifty sales tax deduction calculator. You can access a San Francisco property assessment tool as well if you want a quick estimate on your 2015 taxes for a San Francisco property.
Retirement Contributions and Taxes
Another issue of importance discussed in the newsletter is the deductability of IRA contributions. Most people who work for medium to large corporations have retirement plans via their employer; for those you don’t IRA’s can be a great alternative. In all cases, various tax restrictions apply to whether or not one can deduct IRA contributions. We help our clients optimize their retirement planning to minimize the tax bite – so feel free to reach out to us either to help you with 2015 taxes, or to set the stage for a profitable 2016.
Finally, the bulletin discusses the possible sale of a business. Here the focus is less on taxes, but we help clients who are buying or selling San Francisco Bay Area businesses to plan ahead to minimize taxes. As for how to lose weight, we offer this simple advice: eat less, and exercise more! We did not say that weight loss, like effective tax planning, would be easy. Happy 2016!
To download the January newsletter, click here.
About Safe Harbor LLP – a Professional CPA Firm in San Francisco
Safe Harbor LLP is a CPA firm that specializes in accounting and tax services for individuals and businesses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and greater California. Safe Harbor CPAs helps both individuals and businesses with tax preparation, IRS audit defense, and audited financial statements. The firm prides itself on friendly yet professional service and utilizes state-of-the-art Internet technology to provide quality customer service. Its goal: to be the best CPA firm in San Francisco.
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