Last-Minute Savings When Filing Tips

Tax time is quickly approaching, but you can still save money on your federal return. Here’s how.

“Even though the tax deadline is approaching quickly, it’s not too late to minimize your tax liability and maximize your tax refund,” says Zane Christopher Jr., senior vice president of TaxSlayer LLC. Consider these four last-minute suggestions to positively impact your tax return.

1. Assess Stocks You Sold

If you sold stocks that were losing money before the end of the year, Christopher points out that you can write off the loss on your tax return. This is called tax-loss harvesting. “You can use the loss to offset your income up to the allowable limit of $3,000,” he says. “In addition, capital losses can offset capital gains.”

2. Save Extra for Retirement

Even if it’s too late to make extra deposits into your 401(k) account, you can still make tax-deductible contributions to a traditional individual retirement account, if you qualify. Putting extra funds into your IRA is therefore a good way to reduce your tax liability today while also increasing your retirement savings for tomorrow, Christopher says. The maximum contribution is $5,500 if you’re 49 or younger and $6,500 if you’re 50 or older, and you have until tax day to make deductible contributions on your return.

3. Contribute to Your Health Savings Account

While not everyone has tax-deductible medical expenses, an HSA can help minimize your taxes now. If you use a health savings account to pay qualified medical expenses, the IRS treats contributions the same way it treats retirement contributions: It collects taxes on the money when you withdraw it, not when you deposit it. So contributing the maximum to your HSA — if you’re under age 55, it’s $3,400 for individuals and $6,750 for families, and if you’re age 55 and older, it’s $4,400 for individuals and $7,750 for families — can help you reduce your tax bill. Like a traditional IRA, you have until tax day to make contributions.

4. Calculate Business Expenses

If you own a business, you can deduct capital investments (for example, business equipment) from your tax return as long as you made the purchases by the end of the tax year, Christopher says. Look over your business expenses to ensure you’ve documented all of them.

Whether you’re filing taxes online or offline, time is of the essence. Act quickly, as these eleventh-hour tax-saving tips may help you with a bigger tax refund to help you keep your financial resolutions. Visit the Regions Tax Center for more information about filing your taxes.


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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.

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