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Tax planning is an activity that is best pursued year-round. You can use the following list of activities and dates to help you better carry out your planning on a regular and ongoing basis. The dates below are the same each year unless the date falls on a weekend or holiday, in which case the due date is the following business day.
If you work for tips and earn more than $20 in tips during the month, report tips to your employer by the 10th of each month for the following month on form 4070.
Complete Form W-4 and adjust withholding if needed.
Pay fourth-quarter estimated tax voucher for the preceding tax year by January 15.
Evaluate before-tax contributions to retirement plans.
Evaluate voluntary after-tax contributions to retirement plans.
Apply for a Social Security number for any child who does not have one.
Make quarterly defined benefit Keogh contribution for preceding year by January 15.
If you claimed exemption from withholding last year, you must file a new W-4 form with your employer to claim the exemption for this year.
Comply with minimum distribution rules for qualified plans by April 1 if you attained age 70½ in previous year.
File individual tax return (or an application for an extension of time to file) by April 15.
Pay first-quarter estimated tax, using the correct voucher, by April 15.
Make previous-year IRA contribution by April 15.
Make previous-year Keogh plan contribution by April 15 (unless you applied for an extension of time to file your tax return).
Make quarterly defined benefit Keogh contribution for the current year by April 15.
Pay second-quarter estimated tax voucher by June 15.
Make quarterly defined benefit Keogh contribution for the current year by July 15.
File Form 5500 Annual Report of Employee Benefit Plan by July 31, if applicable.
If you applied for an extension of time to file your preceding year's tax return, file the return or an additional extension request by August 15.
Pay third-quarter estimated tax voucher by September 15.
If you got an extension of time to file later than August 15, you must file by October 15.
Make your quarterly defined benefit Keogh contribution for the current year by October 15.
Begin your year-end planning:.
Evaluate the applicability of the AMT and other taxes.
Adjust withholding, if necessary.
Evaluate year-end capital transactions.
Establish a separate Keogh plan for self-employment income.
Comply with minimum distribution rules for qualified plans.
Throughout the Year
Evaluate your tax and financial strategy for receiving discretionary and mandatory retirement plan distributions.
Reevaluate your uses of debt.
Consider making gifts to children or other family members up to the annual gift tax exclusion of $12,000 per gift per donee per year.
Evaluate passive loss exposure and potential investment shifts.
If you have excess cash flow, consider how to invest those funds.
Optimize mix of interest expense items.
Consider making charitable contributions of property, instead of (or in addition to) giving cash.
Consider ways to fund your children's education.
Evaluate your mix of portfolio and passive income.
Review prior gifts to children under age 14 and their incomes in order to minimize the amount of income that will be taxed at your rate.
Review the selection of your second residence and status of your vacation home.