Symbols of Christmas
4TH Quarter Estimated Tax Payments are due January 15, 2015
2014 Gifts to Charity must be postmarked or made online by 12/31/14. Gifts charged to a bank or financial institution credit card are counted on the date they are charged. Gifts charged on a retail store credit card are counted when they are paid. If you own stock, consider making a gift by transfer of stock instead of cash. You can avoid capital gains tax, and get a charitable giving deduction on Sch A.
Contribute to a Traditional or Roth IRA – up to a maximum of $5,500 ($6,500 if you are age 50 or older) for 2014. If you are already covered by a church or work retirement plan, your contribution may be limited once AGI reaches a certain amount. If you think you may be in this category, you may wish to make your 2014 contribution after I finish your return and your AGI is determined . You have until April 15, 2015 to make your 2014 contribution.
Contribute first to your Church Sponsored Retirement Plan through salary deferral (pre-tax contributions), since up to 100% of retirement distributions from this type of plan can be tax sheltered by clergy housing costs in retirement. Now is the time to get your salary reduction agreement in place for 2015.
Take required minimum distributions from your retirement plan or traditional IRA if you are at least 70 1/2. You normally must take the RMD by Dec. 31, 2014, or by April 1, 2015 if you turned 70 1/2 in 2014. You are not required to take RMD from a Roth IRA. Failure to take the RMD can result in a 50% excise tax – OUCH!
Contribute your RMD – On the evening of Dec. 16, 2014, Congress passed legislation renewing the charitable IRA rollover, also called a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), for tax year 2014 only. The charitable IRA rollover allows donors age 70 1/2 or older to transfer, subject to certain restrictions, up to $100,000 directly from their IRA account to qualifying charities, excluding their gift from taxable income and counting it toward their required minimum distribution not already withdrawn.
HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR!