32 THE QUEENS COURIER • SEPTEMBER 20, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Take These Steps Now to Avoid a Tax Surprise In 2019
If you want to
head off a tax bill
from Uncle Sam
next spring, right
now is the best
time to prepare.
planning is especially
Attorney At Law
25-59 Steinway Street
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BEST PERSONAL INJURY
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Co-Author of the
best selling book
“Breaking the Tax Code”
Salvatore P. Candela, EA, ATA, ABA
Enrolled Agent - Tax Advisor
important in 2018, experts say, as accountants
and their clients grapple with a volley of
changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Updates under the new law include sharp
limits to itemized deductions and an overhaul of
the tax withholding that applies to your wages.
Even your income tax return — Form 1040
— is getting a makeover: It will be postcard
sized, with six worksheets filers will need
to wade through in order to claim above-theline
deductions and credits.
Be prepared for your return to look a lot
different than it did last year. It’s not just
the forms themselves, but in terms of what’s
deductible and how your tax is calculated.
These are the key planning areas you should
review with your accountant this summer.
Under the new law, the IRS overhauled the
tax withholding tables, which employers use
— along with Form W-4— to determine how
much income tax ought to be withheld from
your paycheck based on the number of allowances
you claim and how much you earn.
If you haven’t had a chance to review your
withholding since the new tables came out in
February, be sure to do it now.
If you withhold too much, you get a refund
next April. But if you’re short, you’ll owe the IRS.
In previous years, it may have made sense for
wage earners to withhold less under certain circumstances:
For instance, if they itemized deductions.
That may no longer be the case, especially
now that the standard deduction has roughly
doubled to $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for
The new tax code increased the standard
deduction but curbed many itemized deductions.
Those changes include a $10,000 cap on the
amount of state and local taxes you can claim,
and the outright elimination of miscellaneous
itemized deductions, like unreimbursed
employee expenses and investment fees.
For instance, now might be the time to fight
back on high property taxes.
Further, since fewer people will be itemizing,
look for tax efficient ways to pay for
things. One way would be to use your health
savings account to pay for long-term care
insurance premiums if your balance is large
enough to handle the expense.
Here’s another idea: Revisit your investment
fees now that you can’t deduct them.
Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, you
were allowed to deduct investment and custodial
fees, trust administration fees and other
expenses for managing investments that produce
taxable income. Under the old law, you
could claim this and other miscellaneous
itemized deductions to the extent they exceeded
2 percent of your adjusted gross income.
Though you couldn’t take a deduction for
traditional IRA fees that you paid directly
from the account, under the old law you were
able to use other assets to pay those expenses
and then take the deduction.
Now, you should think twice: If your IRA is
growing rapidly and you have a long time horizon,
consider using outside money to pay the fees.
This way, more of your IRA cash continues
growing on a tax-deferred basis.
If your time horizon is shorter and you’re in
conservative investments, it may make sense to
deduct the fee directly from the IRA instead.
If you’re charitably inclined but just short of
surpassing the standard deduction, consider
making two years’ worth of donations in 2018
to get over the hurdle so that you can itemize.
One suggestion is to do zero or close to
zero giving in one year and take the standard
The following year, load all of your charitable
deductions for two years into one.
If you’re over 70½ and taking required minimum
distributions from a traditional IRA,
consider transferring that money directly to a
This move, known as the qualified charitable
distribution, allows you to meet your
RMDs and your charitable goals at the same
time — and you won’t incur income taxes on
If you don’t get a tax deduction for the gift,
you may as well do the qualified charitable distribution
and not have to report it as income.
John Savignano is a partner with Savignano
Accountants & Advisors located at 47-46
Vernon Blvd., Second Floor, in Long Island City.
If you have any questions or require additional
information, please call John at 718-707-0955.
September is Life Insurance Awareness
Month (LIAM), a great opportunity to get
educated on the importance of life insurance.
It can seem daunting to get all your financial
ducks in a row. But the beauty of any
journey: It doesn’t happen all at once. Step by
step. Goal by goal. Do that next good thing
by putting financial protection in place with
life insurance. Then, no matter what happens
in your financial—or life— journey, your
loved ones will be OK financially.
Take that first step on your financial
fitness journey today by contacting
Adalberto Garcia for your free consultation
at: (407) 749-9526 or Advisors@
Taxes in Retirement
Retirement planning has three main
1. How much income will you probably
NEED to maintain the lifestyle you want?
2. Then you estimate how much money
you probably will HAVE from all sources.
3. That leaves you with an amount you
need to SAVE personally to make up for the
When analyzing how much you should
SAVE to make up for any shortfall, TAXES
often play a significant role in decision
making. To learn and see how taxes will
play a role in your retirement, contact our
advisor, Adalberto Garcia for a free consultation
at: (407) 749-9526 or Advisors@