Blending Life, Wealth, Work & What's Next
March 2, 2018

Getting ready to file your taxes? …not so fast!

As we head into tax filing time, it’s always good to think about what you need to do to prepare to file while also thinking ahead to 2018 tax planning.  Here are a variety of tips to consider as you gear up to file your taxes:

1.  Get organized!  Whether you file on your own or work with someone who uses an electronic organizer or old-fashioned paper organizer, pull your information together and do some research before you start plugging in numbers.  Be sure to look at check registers, annual credit card summaries, prescription drug purchases & medical expenses through your pharmacy and health insurer’s website.  In 2017 & 2018 only, the IRS has lowered the threshold of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) above which you can deduct medical expenses to 7.5%, so this may be your year to take some medical deductions!  If you work with a tax preparer, keep in mind that the more organized that you are, the more accurate your taxes are likely to be, the more tax savings you might receive, and the potentially less you will pay for preparations fees.

2.  Obtain all investment 1099s from brokerage accounts, and be prepared for revisions in late March/early April.  It’s not your brokerage firm’s fault that they have to revise their 1099s.  It often happens because some dividend income gets recharacterized to a lower tax rate.  So, if you have 1099 forms from brokerage firms, consider waiting to file until early April, but get your return done NOW.

3.  Do you have receipts for non-cash (stuff) charitable contributions?  If not, go get them NOW.  Anything over $250 of value needs a receipt.

4.  Are you a sole proprietor business owner?  Maybe you can contribute to a SEP IRA or a solo401k (if already set up) to help shelter some of last year’s income.  Ask your tax advisor.


And for 2018 tax planning…


1.  Be sure to get a copy of your 2017 tax return to your investment advisors/financial planners once filed.  Why you ask?  Because it helps us know where the planning opportunities are, how to support your cashflow needs, AND to make sure we are doing everything we can to not have your portfolio make your tax situation worse.

2.  Talk with your tax advisor about 2018 tax planning.  Don’t have a tax advisor?  This may be the year to get one!  The 2017 tax reform bill has impacted many of the basic tax planning strategies that people use.  There is no telling what you may owe or get back in 2018.  Don’t miss the opportunity to plan intentionally for 2018!

3.  Are you a business owner?  There are some new possibilities for tax savings in 2018 and if you have not established a retirement plan for yourself/employees, you may be missing a key tax planning opportunity.  Some plans must be established this year, although they may be funded next year, to have an impact on your 2018 taxes.

4.  Be thoughtful about the financial & life decisions that you make in 2018 and check in with your financial & tax advisors before moving ahead.  As one OWM Associate Financial Advisor likes to say, “It’s hard to unscramble the eggs.” If you don’t keep us in the loop BEFORE you take action, it’s often hard to unwind things later.


If we can be of assistance in helping your coordinate your financial life…let us know!  Good luck with tax filing time!


Lisa A.K. Kirchenbauer, CFP®, RLP®

Certified Financial Transitionist®

President, Omega Wealth Management



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Omega Wealth Management serves as a “lifeline” to help you successfully navigate major life changes. Our comprehensive and flexible process is designed to meet you where you are and help you get to where you want to go, at your own pace.



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Arlington, VA 22203

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