Three Tips to Start the Tax Filing Season

  1. Check whether your children need to file a 2015 tax return.
    • They’ll need to file if wages exceeded $6,300, self-employment income was over $400, or investment income exceeded $1,050.
    • When income includes both wages and investment income, other thresholds apply.
  2. Consider whether you’ll contribute to a Roth or traditional IRA.
    • Since you have until April 18 to make a 2015 contribution (April 19 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts), you can schedule an amount to set aside from each paycheck for the next few months.
    • The maximum contribution for 2015 is the lesser of your earned income for the year or $5,500 ($6,500 when you’re age 50 or older).
    • Be sure to tell your bank or other trustee that these 2016 contributions are for 2015 until you reach the 2015 limit.
    • You can then deduct these 2016 amounts on your 2015 tax return for a quicker tax benefit.
  3. Do you need to file a gift tax return?
    • For 2015, you may need to file a return if you gave gifts totaling more than $14,000 to someone other than your spouse.
    • Some gifts, such as direct payments of medical bills or tuition, are not subject to gift tax.
    • Gift tax returns are due at the same time as your federal income tax return.

Call us for more tips on getting ready for filing your 2015 income taxes.

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today's small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it. Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission. Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations. She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor and their dog, Davis.
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