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End of Year Tax Planning and Finance Checklist

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to think about any last minute tax strategies. At the same time, I have a checklist of things to prepare for the upcoming year. It’s more efficient to do them at the same time as many of the strategies impact calculations for next year.

Tax Planning

I just finished cleaning out my closet to make donations of clothing [1] and wedding attire [2] by year end for tax deductions. Here’s some other strategies that I work on at year end:

  • Tax loss harvesting: I go through our taxable accounts and sell stock that I am carrying at a loss. See more on how to harvest tax losses [3].
  • Maximizing any tax deferral options still available in 401k, 403b and 457 plans.
  • Having any extra dental work done, prescriptions refilled, etc. to use remaining flexible spending account dollars.
  • Conversion of IRAs to Roth IRAs to maximize the rest of our tax bracket.
  • Moolanomy highlights some additional strategies in 22 Money Maximizing Moves You Can Do Today [4].

Finance Checklist

I also complete the following paperwork for the upcoming year:

  • Enroll in dependent care and flex spending account.
  • Determine correct amount of withholding based on projected income.
  • Evaluate net worth and determine if additional umbrella insurance is needed.
  • Rebalance our portfolios to match our selected asset allocation.
  • Check for appropriate deductibles and limits of car, home and life insurance.
  • Evaluate income phase outs for planned deductions; refigure taxes if needed.
  • Update our list of assets in the house and financial papers and place in safe deposit box.
  • Measure progress on our dollar plan [5].
  • Look up value of cars and decide whether or not to carry comprehensive and collision coverage.
  • Start a new tax folder to gather paperwork in throughout the year.
  • Fireplace maintenance. (Not really a financial item, but it’s on my yearly list anyways).