Tips to save you money on your taxes
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Taxes can be a tricky thing, but there are some key things experts recommend or that are required you do before December 31st that may be able to save you a good chunk of change.
Stephen Arave, co-owner of Arave Tax Preparation and Consulting, says there are two major things to do before 2019 comes to a close.
First, make any large charitable donations if you're planning on it. Second, retirees should get their required minimum distribution in order.
Just because you can't file yet, doesn't mean you can't get an idea of what your tax bill will look like.
The IRS has a 'Tax Withholding Estimator' on their website. It will calculate how much you will owe or receive on your tax return
"A lot of people could be surprised at how much they owe or don't owe this year depending on how they filled out that W-4 form. It would be a good idea at this time to take a look at that estimator," Arave said.
Arave says a change in the Medical Deduction Threshold will be an advantage to people with large medical expenses, and that the Extender Bill The President just signed will be an added help to some as well.
With so many key questions that need to be answered to get you the lowest possible tax bill, Arave says it's often best to visit in person with a tax professional, "The rules are complex, and it would be hard to design a program that would ask every possible situation," Arave said.
However, he says the online tax programs work great for those who have a simple tax situation.
For those who have fallen behind on their taxes over the years, it's not too late to get back on track, "The IRS is fairly lenient in helping you get those issues straightened out, so if a person hasn't filed for several years, or has made mistakes that they know about. It's best to beat the IRS to the punch on that," Arave said.
Another thing that could save you money on your tax return is creating an energy-efficient home, like installing solar panels or other energy-efficient features before the year is over.