At our October 26 meeting, members had the opportunity to share their end of year tips. Here is a list of what was shared! Do you have tips? Share them on our Facebook page.
Henry, Petersen, Berry & Quigley CPAs
- Get a receipt for all cash contributions of $250 or more.
- Non-cash charitable contributions should have an itemized list of what was given with each receipt for anything over $500.
- Non-cash contributions of $5,000 or more need to have an appraisal of what has been donated. It has to be a qualified appraiser.
- Generally, Oregon estimated tax payments should be sent in prior to December 31st in order to deduct them on the same year return for federal purposes.
- You should consider funding an IRA. You have until April 15th of the following year to contribute for the previous year.
- Double check your withholding on your pay check stub and make sure you are having enough withheld. If not, consider changing your W-4 to have additional taxes withheld or consider making an estimated tax payment.
- Review your realized gain/losses with your investment advisor prior to December to decide if it would be beneficial to harvest any losses before year end.
- If your employer offers a flexible spending account or dependent care benefits, consider maximizing the amount that you can defer.
- See your tax advisor and investment advisor prior to year-end to see if there are any other items you may need to consider.
- Check your anti-freeze/coolant - should be clean, protection to -35 (50/50).
- Have your battery condition tested.
- Inspect your belts and coolant hoses.
- Lube door locks.
- Replace your wiper blades. Consider anti-freeze type washer fluid.
- Inspect your tire condition, including air pressure, tread depth, and tire age.
- Check all exterior lighting and polish fogged over headlights.
- Keep fuel tank close to full, and add a water absorbing product for cold weather.
- Replace faulty engine thermostat.
Baxter Plumbing & Rooter
- Disconnect outdoor hoses and store.
- Check foundation vents and block them. In older homes, pipes aren't insulated; block the vents so pipes don't freeze. Cardboard or Styrofoam blocks are fine.
- Look under sinks for rust...the first indication of a future leak!
Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy
To prevent injury this winter:
- Pre-Season Strengthening Exercises (Repeat 5 times on each side, working up to 2 sets of 10 reps.)
- Diagonal Line Jump: Mark floor with line or tape. Jump sideways to opposite side of line, increasing speed as able. To increase difficulty, jump diagonally, increase jump distance, or increase speed of jump.
- Lateral Step Up: Stand with right lef off step, knee straight. Raise right hip, keeping knee straight.
- Pre-Slope Stretches (Hold 15-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side.)
- Hip Stretch: While laying on your back, bend right hip to 90 degrees. With left hand, pull right knee toward opposite shoulder.
- Quadriceps: Pull right heel toward buttock until stretch is felt in front of right thigh. Keep thigh in vertical position.
More of these winter injury prevention tips and stretches can be found in their "Skiing" booklet.
Curb to Roof
- Check roofs and gutters for moss and clean out if needed.
- Check hoses, too!
Opes Advisors Mortgage Loans
- Refinance while we're experiencing low interest rates.
- Organize your tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements in preparation for a buy or refinance.
- Access your equity while interest rates are really low
- Credit Reports are often not as bad as you think. Most are fixable and a lot can be removed or mitigated, it just takes time.
UplinkSpyder Web & Design
- Holdays - Maximize your advertising dollars with creative strategies to stand out among the crowd.
- Audit - Go over all your online assets...social media, directories and your website...and consider a "refresh".
- Strategy - Now is the time for putting together a 2016 strategy. Hiring a consultant to help you can help you maximize your dollars spent.
- Refresh look - Is your logo tired looking? Do you need a new look? Now is a good time to "launch" a new brand and invest in training for employees.
- Budget - Work on your 2016 marketing budget now.
- Your best protection against identity theft and fraud is to check your online banking every day.
- Get a strong (and free) Antivirus and Spyware (HItman, Super AntiSpyware, Malware Bytes)
- When online shopping, protect yourself. In the Columbia Bank security center is a program called “Trusteer Rappport” - you download it on your computer and whenever you go to any website where you will be putting in personal information, credit card information etc., - you activate it by clicking on a “gray box’” within the address bar that will turn “green” when activated. Once you do that for any website, it stays activated for that website and you don’t have to keep activating it each time.
- Use separate computers from where you bank when shopping (like an iPad)
- Check your credit report every year for free (annualcreditreport.com)
Stifel Financial Services
- Schedule a meeting with your financial planner or accountant. Segment and prioritize goals for 2016.
- Donate to charity. Dec. 31 is the deadline for charitable contributions you plan to deduct from your 2015 tax return.
- Max out retirement contributions. You have until you file your tax return next spring to make a 2015 contribution to an individual retirement account (IRA), but 401(K) contributions are only deductible when made in the same calendar year.
- Use up FSA money. If you still have money set aside in a flexible spending account for health care expenses, see if can order new glasses or schedule that dental work you've been putting off. You may lose unused funds in the new year.
- Check your beneficiaries. You can do so on your retirement accounts or insurance policies at any time, but do this at least annually.
Westside Stamp & Printing Service
- Update and review your website.
- Make out your budget.
- Analyze your goals and plans for the new year.
- Review your customer list and make possible changes (sometimes it's ok to fire a customer.)
The Vendley Agency
- When you go on vacation, keep your thermostat at least at 60 degrees. Many insurance claims happen as a result of vacation.
RE/MAX Integrity Real Estate
- It's never too late to put a home on the market - buyers looking are more serious during the fall and winter.
- It's never too soon to plan ahead for the spring.
- Look into new markets - for instance, government contracts.
- The govt. fiscal year begins in October.
A&M Auto Body
- As the seasons change, be prepared for a longer time to get work done, especially in icy conditions. Vehicles that are not drive-able take priority.
Peeters & Peeters Landscaping
- Your landscaper can help you care for plants so they don't suffer during ice and drought.