It’s that time of the year again, football season, back-to-school, cooler temps, and time to think about year-end tax planning. Try to contain your excitement.  Here are a few things to be thinking about as you approach the end of the year:

  • Endow Iowa tax credits are gone; great for the state, but not if you were still hoping to score the 25% tax credit in 2015. Making a gift to Endow Iowa now will put you first in line to receive tax credits for 2016 or you might consider a gift to a Student Tuition Organization (STO); these provide a 65% state of Iowa tax credit. STO’s are charitable organizations that raise tuition funding for students who may not otherwise be able to afford a private school education in Iowa.
  • We will once again wait to see if a “tax extenders” bill gets passed. The good news is that they started work on this in July. The bad news is that they started work in April of 2014 and didn’t get the bill passed until mid-December.  Among the items in this bill is provision for tax-free distributions from an IRA for charitable purposes.  It’s a nice benefit for some, but depending on income levels, may provide little or no advantage over a traditional charitable gift.  In fact, you may be better off to gift appreciated securities from your after-tax account.
  • If you are business owner, the Section 179 bonus depreciation amounts are back on the table after reverting to $25,000 in 2015 from $500,000 in 2014.

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