Before ringing in the New Year at midnight on December 31, taxpayers should complete this 12-step year-end health, tax and financial wellness to-do list.
- Complete any outstanding health care, treatments, and refill any prescriptions that are appropriate before your end if you were on a calendar year health plan deductible. Also check if any funds remain unused that you’ve contributed to your healthcare, spending account, dependent care, assistance, account, or other flexible spending accounts, and make sure that they are used and claims timely submitted.
- If your health plan enrollment changes on January 1, locate the new eligibility card for the new coverage and give a copy to every covered member of your family to have ready to present if a medical need arises. If you have not received the permanent card from your health, insurer or health plan, check the website for that program to download a temporary card.
- The end of the year is a great time to update the emergency contacts for each family member and to ensure they have the information and documents needed to respond in the case of an emergency. See Essential Steps Everyone Should Take To Prepare For A COVID-19 Or Other Health Emergency
- Visit IRS’ Get Ready webpage for info on filing tax returns to remind themselves about income, deductions and other rules and requirements that will impact their taxes and what they need to claim deductions and credits.
- Estimate your total income taking into account wages and other earnings from all sources including earning from all sources. Review and modify if appropriate your Form W-4 withholding to avoid under or over withholding in the new year.
- Check Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The IRS issues ITINs to people who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who don’t have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number. If ITIN was not included on a federal tax return at least once for tax years 2019, 2020 and 2021, the ITIN will expire on December 31, 2022. Individuals only need to renew an ITIN if it has expired and is needed on a federal tax return.
- Find information about retirement plans. IRS.gov has end-of-year tax information about retirement plans. This includes resources for individuals about retirement planning, contributions and withdrawals. Check your plan, documents and contributions for yourself and if you’re a business for other participants in your programs to ensure that all contributions allowed under the plan that you intend, and can afford to make are contributed by the applicable deadline. Subject to plan terms and applicable limits, participants often can make a salary deferral to a contribute at year end. Sponsors can decide what if any elective contributions to make at year end. Salary deferral to a retirement plan may help maximize the tax credit available for eligible contributions. Taxpayers should make sure their total salary deferral contributions do not exceed the $20,500 limit for 2022. plan. This helps maximize the tax credit available for eligible contributions. Taxpayers should make sure their total salary deferral contributions do not exceed the $20,500 limit for 2022. ensure that no excess contributions remain in the plan that could trigger excise tax liability, if not withdrawn in a timely fashion.
- Donate to charity. Taxpayers must make any donation to a tax-exempt organization they want to deduct on their 2022 return by December 31. Most charitable cash donations qualify for the deduction. However, there are some exceptions. Cash contributions include those made by check, credit card or debit card as well as unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in connection with volunteer services to a qualifying charitable organization. IRA owners age 70½ or over have the option to transfer up to $100,000 to charity tax-free each year. These transfers, known as qualified charitable distributions or QCDs, offer eligible older Americans a great way to give to charity before the end of the year. For those who are at least 72, QCDs count toward the IRA owner’s required minimum distribution for the year.
- Get banked and set up direct deposit. Direct deposit gives taxpayers access to their refund faster than a paper check.Those without a bank account can learn how to open an account at an FDIC-insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool. Veterans should see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for access to financial services at participating banks.
- Connect with the IRS. Taxpayers can use social media to get the latest tax and filing tips from the IRS. The IRS shares information on things like tax changes, scam alerts, initiatives, tax products and taxpayer services. These social media tools are available in different languages, including English, Spanish and American Sign Language.
- Think about tax refund. The fastest way taxpayers can get a tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit, but no one should ever plan to get a refund by a certain date. This is especially true for those who want to use their refund to make major purchases or pay bills.
- Start collecting and organizing records and information to prepare your 2022 taxes and to collect records and information that will simplify your 2023 returns. for instance, down, loading your bank statements, credit card statements, and other similar documents can make collecting your expenses and income much easier at tax time. Likewise, requesting a copy of your pharmacy records and checking your insurance claims records for uncovered claims can help you submit any uncovered charges to your flexible, benefit plan, and retain any remaining expenses to claim if you itemize on your annual tax return.
We hope this update is helpful. For more information about the these or other health or other legal, management or public policy developments, please contact the author Cynthia Marcotte Stamer via e-mail or via telephone at (214) 452 -8297.
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About the Author
Recognized by her peers as a Martindale-Hubble “AV-Preeminent” (Top 1%) and “Top Rated Lawyer” with special recognition LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® as “LEGAL LEADER™ Texas Top Rated Lawyer” in Health Care Law and Labor and Employment Law; as among the “Best Lawyers In Dallas” for her work in the fields of “Labor & Employment,” “Tax: ERISA & Employee Benefits,” “Health Care” and “Business and Commercial Law” by D Magazine, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer is a practicing attorney board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and management consultant, author, public policy advocate and lecturer widely known for 30+ years of health industry and other management work, public policy leadership and advocacy, coaching, teachings, and publications.
A Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel, Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) International Section Life Sciences and Health Committee, Past Chair of the ABA Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group, Scribe for the ABA JCEB Annual Agency Meeting with HHS-OCR, past chair of the the ABA RPTE Employee Benefits & Other Compensation Group and current co-Chair of its Welfare Benefit Committee, Ms. Stamer is most widely recognized for her decades of pragmatic, leading edge work, scholarship and thought leadership on health and managed care industry legal, public policy and operational concerns.
Ms. Stamer’s work throughout her 30 plus year career has focused heavily on working with health care and managed care, health and other employee benefit plan, insurance and financial services and other public and private organizations and their technology, data, and other service providers and advisors domestically and internationally with legal and operational compliance and risk management, performance and workforce management, regulatory and public policy and other legal and operational concerns.
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