Friday, December 11, 2015

Do You Meet With Your Tax Pro in December?

I always meet with my tax professional every December. If you were involved in a real estate transaction this year, meeting with your tax adviser is a good idea. Often real estate has income tax benefits or consequences and this is nice to know before the end of the year. Even if real estate was not involved this year, knowing where you stand while there is still time to make adjustments in your finances can save you thousands of dollars.

Real estate in particular can be a tricky proposition for taxes. The laws change frequently and once you get past December, often it is too late to make any adjustments for the tax year. Sometimes waiting to close on a property until next year is better than closing it this year, or vice-versa. Your tax pro can go over the differences and help you make the best financial decisions that put you in the strongest position for taxation purposes.

If you engaged in a real estate transaction in 2015, talking to the tax accountant about the benefits or consequences of that action can be helpful. Generally real estate transactions for owner occupied properties are beneficial but rental units can be very tricky and an accountant is well worth the expense to help you sort it all out.

Last year I had a tax surprise and not the happy variety. Meeting in December alerted me to the problem. I was not able to change anything, but it was nice having a four month advance notice that the April 15 bomb was going nuclear.  

If you are not using a professional for your taxes and you own real estate or trade in securities you are probably leaving money on the table. Talk to a pro and keep the messy taxes nice and tidy.

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