Tax Expert Shares Wisdom of Year-End Giving
Every range of tax bracket went up this year! The highest bracket went up to 39.6%, the middle brackets went to 15% to 33% and the lowest bracket will stay at 10%. This does not include any state taxes which could add on another 5% to 10%. Every dollar you write off or shelter from taxes can save money and provide an immediate return from 15% to 50%. “That’s a good deal,” says Gordon.
Reducing your tax liability makes sense and a little planning can save thousands. Some of the savings can even be compounded.
- Put More In Your Retirement accounts - Workers can contribute up to $17,500 to employer-based plans. Workers 50 and older can contribute up to $23,000. Call your HR Department for more information. These contributions are directly excluded from your income, lowering your tax bill significantly. You can also catch up if you are below your maximums.
- Maximize IRA Deductions – applies to both spouses if married - Up to $5,500 per person or up to $6,500 if you are 50 or older.
- Give Big to Charity - increase your refund chances – Give cash, furniture, clothing or stock. If you plan on giving significantly to charity this year, consider giving some of your appreciated stock or mutual fund shares you’ve owned over a year. You do not pay tax on the appreciation while getting the full deduction of the gift. “Wow, a double winner,” says Gordon.
- Avoid Penalties on Your Return - If you expect to owe, try to have it paid by January 15th or figure out some deductions you can take now to offset the tax due. You can borrow from a bank or credit card and use it for a write-off now even if you pay them later.
- Evaluate Your Portfolio – Determine whether it is better to take gains now, perhaps gift any appreciated stocks or funds, or take losses this year versus next if you have any.
- Remember to learn the laws under the Affordable Care Act. Failure to have the proper insurance could cause penalties and tax due yearly.
WISDOM FROM ABOVE
With no real business mentor when he was young, Gordon turned to the Bible for wisdom. Then as a young executive, Gordon used the Bible as his guidebook for success. When he began working for a national corporation, Gordon was required to provide the next year’s budget five months in advance. Gordon recorded an anticipated mild increase in growth and profit like his colleagues for a year. Then he decided to write a better future with a more aggressive budget, a bigger number, and then take aggressive actions to get to those specific results. Although most of his peers laughed at him Gordon persevered. He didn’t think he was better than his colleagues; he simply believed in more potential and that the unseen would come to pass. Year after year, Gordon exceeded his peers’ performance on an annual and cumulative basis. “The moral of the story is I would have never left the path of complacency and mediocrity unless I took the visionary pathway,” reveals Gordon. He decided to apply this visionary formula to the rest of his life.
Gordon says everything starts with vision. “It is the process that brings imagination to creation. He says vision has a simplistic formula that can solve the complexities of your life and make it marvelous. Gordon encourages others to apply his simplistic visionary approach for success in their own lives. We are all born visionaries but somehow, as get older, we become immersed in a society that becomes content with mediocrity. Gordon reminds us through God’s Word that His power is available in you to accomplish anything. “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. (Ephesians 3:20) Whether you want to generate more income, start a business, or earn your degree he says it is just a visionary plan away. He encourages others to clearly write down their visions and share it with others as a way to gather supportive energy.
His New York Times best-selling book, Vision, came to fruition as a result of prayer. Gordon asked God where he could be used as His instrument. The answer he received was that he had the ability to teach other people about this simplistic visionary process. “I wrote the book so it will help others,” shares Gordon. Since then, Gordon has been traveling to churches and sharing his visionary message. He provides all attendees with a free copy of his book. “One of the greatest things the church can do is connect a person’s faith to reality,” he says. He hopes that his message about vision will be the roadmap that individuals need to achieve their goals.
As a believer, Gordon says gifts are a testimony to God and an encouragement to others. They have a long impact and express your thankfulness to God. “We have all been asked to give,” says Gordon. “We should give willingly.”