It’s almost 2012. Your business has done better than expected. Here are a few things you may consider to help lower your tax liability before year end, but you had better hurry!
- Donations. Cash donations are always deductible, but you may also have items lying around your house that could benefit someone else. Donating these items to Goodwill or similar organizations is tax deductible. We recommend keeping an itemized list of the things you are giving away and assign a value to each item.
- College Savings. Saving for your child’s college is always advised, but a GA 529 plan carries an additional tax benefit. All Georgia taxpayers may now contribute and deduct up to $2,000 each year on behalf of any beneficiary regardless of their annual income. Georgia taxpayers are not required to itemize deductions to make this adjustment to income. Please note that a transfer of funds from another state’s 529 plan is not eligible for the Georgia income tax deduction.
- Prepay State Tax. For those who will owe Federal and State tax for 2011, you can prepare a draft tax return to estimate your GA tax liability. If you prepay this tax in 2011, it becomes a credit on your federal tax return, thus reducing your federal tax liability.
- Small Business Retirement Plan. Look at opening a Simple IRA or a SEP IRA to shelter income and save for your retirement. The amount that you put into these type accounts is not taxed in 2011, but will be taxed when you withdraw the money at age 59 ½ or greater. When you are retired, the idea is that you will be in a lower tax bracket and thus you will pay less tax on your money earned in 2011. See our blog on “retirement plans for the self employed” for more information.