Step 9: Future Tax Law Changes
The February 2009 stimulus package is far more conservative than I was expecting to see, but I'm waiting for the tax increases to come in for certain items- especially capital gains that have been so favorable tax-wise over the last decade. It is hard to predict what the government will do, and the challenging financial times we are facing often lead to some very peculiar laws as desperate attempts to bail out the sinking ship. We have seen some already but my bet would be that far stranger laws lurk on the horizon.
The laws being written are only one piece in the puzzle. Congress writes the tax law, the IRS interprets it and then designs forms to make the laws applicable. There have been a lot of changes recently and keeping on top of them will be challenging even for the best of us in the field. I have been doing some research on the new stimulus package and it has a lot of changes in it that will benefit many people, and a lot of complex new laws that will affect everyone filing their taxes next year.
Signing up to tax newsletters can help keep you up to date on the newest changes that are happening. Kiplinger's Tax Newsletter is one of the best in my opinion- they cover a lot and explain the laws well, but it is pricey. Quickfinder is one of them that I've used in the past; it is about $60 a year and is a very user friendly, clearly written, and accurate guide. Their books are also well regarded and used by the vast majority of tax accountants. It is however written for tax accountants and not the general public so you might struggle some with some of the more complex issues in there. Most of the free ones I've been able to find will be sending you more ads than useful articles- isn't that typical of internet newsletters though? The IRS has a decent one: IRS Tax Tips- albeit written in that robotic IRS language that is hard for most humans to understand. But if you are trying to wade through filing your return it might help you. I have a free monthly newsletter that I put out for my clients. Even if you file your own taxes or have another accountant, feel free to sign up for it. I will at least try to break the new changes down to English when I send mine out...
Hopefully this has helped open your eyes to some ways you can save money on taxes and if you have questions please feel free to ask them either as comments here or contact me directly.