Some things you can do to keep your taxes down

The Ticker

December 12, 1997|By Julius Westheimer

MORE LAST-minute tax-saving measures for 1997:

Ask your employer to push your year-end bonus into January, 1998. The delay pushes your tax back one year.

Pay your Jan. 15, 1998, Maryland income tax installment this month and get a 1997 federal tax deduction. Use Voucher No. 4.

Check your lender to see if you can pay your January mortgage bill this month and get a 1997 deduction.

Reduce your 1997 tax by making charitable gifts before year-end. To avoid paying a gains tax on profits, donate appreciated stocks to charities instead of paying with "after-tax" cash.

To avoid an IRS penalty, make certain you have paid enough income tax this year. See your accountant with up-to-date figures from your pay voucher and 1997 capital gains.

Although your 1997 IRA contribution is not due until April 15, make it promptly so you don't forget. In some cases IRAs are tax-deductible.

Maximize contributions to 401(k), 403(b) plans, etc. Money grows almost twice as fast in a tax-deferred retirement program.

At year-end, review your portfolio with your broker. As you grow older, switch low-dividend growth stocks into tax-free bonds.

As Judge Learned Hand ruled in 1947, "Again and again, courts have said there is nothing sinister by arranging one's affairs to keep taxes as low as possible. Nobody owes a public duty to pay more tax than the law demands. Taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions."

Pub Date: 12/12/97

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