Advice before you file your 2013 taxes

Advice before you file your 2013 taxes

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Tax Tips for Your 2013 Filing

From Bryan Philpott, Registered Financial Consultant and Keith Kelly, Investment Advisor Representative of Aspire Wealth Management -as shared on WBTV News Sunday Morning:

TIP #1 - Filing is postponed until January 31st - The IRS is not accepting returns until January 31st because of the government shutdown in October. Even though the start date is delayed, the deadline for filing is still April 15th.

TIP #2 - Have ALL tax documents ready to go - You'll need a few different documents before you file, including your W-2 from your employer. There are different types of 1099 forms that you could need if you earned income while self employed, earned interest on a bank account, had earnings from investments or sold any stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

TIP #3 - Max out your IRA contributions (there's still time!) - If you didn't contribute to your IRA or Roth IRA in 2013, or if you didn't contribute the maximum, it's not too late. You have until April 15th to do so. The maximum you can contribute is $5,500, with an extra $1,000 "catch-up provision" if you are age 50 or older.

TIP #4 - Be sure to claim investment losses from previous years - If you experienced a significant loss in the value of your investments or other capital assets in previous years, you can use up to $3,000 in capital losses to offset other taxable income each year. You can do this year after year until that capital loss is completely claimed. If you are married filing separately, the limit is $1,500.

TIP #5 - Don't forget deductions and make note of those that are expiring - Don't forget to take any deductions you qualify for, including the interest paid on your mortgage or student loans, and charitable contributions. It's important to note that there are a number of deductions that expired at the end of 2013, so be sure you claim them this year if they apply. These include:

-- Qualified charitable distributions by those age 70 1/2 or older from IRAs.

-- An above-the-line deduction for qualified higher education tuition and fees

-- The option to deduct state and local sales and use taxes instead of state and local income taxes.

Additional information:   Tax brackets for 2014 are being adjusted for inflation, meaning you could see some modest savings when you file a year from now. (That is, unless you're in the top income tax bracket, which increased in 2013 from 35 percent to 39.6 percent with an additional Medicare surtax of 3.8 percent.)  Remember, if you have any questions a qualified tax or financial professional can help to ensure you maximize your deductions on your 2013 return.

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