Lifestyle

Filing your 2013 taxes – Changes you need to know

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steve sextonSteve Sexton is President of Sexton Advisory Group and h0st of “Winning in Life” on KBCQ 1170 AM. On “Winning in Life,” Steve discusses various topics ranging from the community in San Diego, important financial information, business information, and much more. In each show, he strives to provide advice for his listeners to truly win in life. With over 15 years of experience in financial services, Steve is a well-known financial advisor who has been featured on numerous shows and publications to share his expertise and to inform clients how they can “find money falling through the cracks.”
To open up the show, Steve jumps into the topic that is currently haunting almost every American right now. As we are all preparing for tax season, most people are wondering how the current tax increases will affect us personally. Well one of the options that he introduces is to avoid the taxes altogether and just move out of the country!
The increase in employment tax that was implemented this year will affect Americans in the near future. As higher taxes kick in, retail sales growth slows. Employee tax has increased from 4.2% to 6.2%, affecting everyone from minimum wage employees to high income individuals. In the past 45 days since the beginning of 2013, gas prices have also gone up 30 cents. This leads to many people stopping and rethinking paying for that extra mile. Because 70% of United States’ GDP consists of consumer spendables, we may have something to worry about.
Did you know the presidential State of the Union proposed an  increase of minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00?  For many high transaction-low profit companies, like McDonalds or Kraft, who rely on minimum wage employees this increase in wages will definitely affect cost, revenues and the current flow of the economy.
It’s tax time and now is the time to bring up questions to your tax preparer. One of the greatest concerns is how a loss should be taken in a portfolio. For example, let’s say a portfolio consists of an IRA and a non-qualified account, also called a brokerage account. If you were to lose 20% on the IRA, you won’t be able to write it off, even if you don’t take it out. Now in the brokerage account everything that comes out is not taxed and if you were to sell the items that you lost on, you would be able to realize that loss. This means you have the option of taking a reduction on taxes, or use that loss to offset other capital gain.
The best option that Steve suggests for every tax payer is to sit down with your financial advisor or CPA and go through the tax forms line by line to make sure you don’t lose money. Make sure that everything is represented in the best tax qualification to save you money and try to learn how money flows through your tax return. The biggest tip to take from this discussion is to do tax planning before taxes are done, even before you even need to look at the return.
“Winning in Life with Steve Sexton” is a helpful and enlightening radio show, and we encourage you to tune in on KBCQ 1170 AM every Sunday at 9:00 AM. If you have any questions, feel free to submit your questions here at Winning In Life Radio. And as usual, Steve may also answer those questions live on the show, giving you the opportunity to win a $50 American Express gift card.

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