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3 last-minute tax deductions you can still squeeze in this year

Jeanie Ahn
Senior Producer/Reporter

How Americans feel about the Trump administration’s tax overhaul continue to be mixed. In a recent Gallup Poll, nearly half (46%) of Americans approve of the changes that rolled out with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which isn’t surprising considering only 64% said they haven’t seen an increase in their take-home pay.

But in order to have seen an uptick in your take-home pay, you would’ve have had to adjust your withholdings, says Daniel Geltrude, an accountant and founder at Geltrude and Company. “I’m not sure everyone took the initiative to do that so your paycheck would’ve stayed the same,” Geltrude told Yahoo Finance.

At this point most taxpayers are still confused as to whether or not the returns they file in 2019 will benefit from the new tax laws. “Once people have actually filed for their 2018 returns, their views on the overhaul will definitely change depending on how they fared,” says Geltrude.

Those who don’t end up with a smaller bill or bigger refund can use that information to determine a better a withholding rate for next year. To help determine your rate, the Internal Revenue Service encourages taxpayers to do a “paycheck checkup” using the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov.

In preparation to file your taxes, maximizing your deductions in these last few weeks of the year can do a lot to increase the refund check you can expect next year. To name just a few, Geltrude advises accelerating any medical expenses, as the rate for allowable medical care expenses will decrease; finalizing your divorce in 2018 to ensure you lock in tax deductible alimony payments; and maximizing your contributions into your retirement accounts.

Have any year-end money questions to help you get on track for 2019? On Wednesday, 12/12, we’re hosting a LIVE Q&A with money experts. Email us your questions here or submit them using this form.

Yahoo Finance is hosting a LIVE Q&A with money experts. Email us your questions.

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