Colorado's marijuana taxes lead tax ballot initiative list
Coloradans agree to a high tax to get high

Adjusting payroll withholding is a key tax move to make now

The elections are over. You're coming down from the sugar high of "helping" your kids finish their haul of Halloween candy.

November_ tax_ moves_160That makes it the perfect time to seriously think about your taxes, both moves that could lower your 2013 taxes and steps to take so that 2014's Internal Revenue Service bill is even less.

I know you don't want to mess with taxes right now. You're starting to worry about your general finances as you make your holiday shopping lists.

But some quick tax planning might help you get your hands on a few more dollars to spend on gifts. How? By adjusting your payroll withholding.

No waiting on a refund: On the tax front, getting your withholding right also will ensure that the income taxes taken out of your paychecks more closely match your eventual 2013 tax bill.

Yes, it is nice to get a refund check in the spring as a sort of a forced savings account.

But remember that next year, the tax filing season is going to start late, probably no sooner than Jan. 28, 2014, and possibly not until some time in February.

That delay will push back the time frame for the IRS to process your return and issue your refund.

Calculate carefully: So tweak your payroll withholding now. All you have to do is give your payroll administrator a new W-4 form.

There's a worksheet on that form to help you determine the correct number of allowances to claim. Or you can use the IRS' online withholding calculator to determine what changes you need to make.

The less you have withheld by claiming more allowances on the W-4, the more you'll get in your paychecks.

Figure carefully, though. If you don't have enough withheld, you'll have to write the U.S. Treasury a check when you file your return next year.

And if it's a really big check, not only will you have to find a way to come up with the money, but the IRS could whack you with an under-withholding penalty.

Still, it's worth checking out how much has been coming out of your paychecks and whether you should modify the amount for the rest of the tax year.

Many November tax moves: Fine-tuning your withholding is just one tax move to make, or at least consider, this month.

You can check out other suggested November Tax Moves in the ol' blog's right column, just below the clock counting down the days until the end of the 2013 tax year.

They include adding to retirement accounts, assessing your investments and understanding the possible tax implications of a holiday-season part-time job.

Remember, most steps you take regarding this year's taxes must be completed by Dec. 31.

So take a break, brush the candy bar crumbs off your shirt and start making not only Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday shopping lists, but also an inventory of tax moves to make in the next month (and beyond) that could save you some tax dollars.

When April 15, 2014, arrives, you'll be glad you did.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Brittany J.

Procrastinating is never a good idea. This is some great information!

The comments to this entry are closed.