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St. Augustine accountant advises preparedness, caution ahead of fiscal cliff

8:26 AM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Certified Public Accountant Louise Anderson has been on the phone calling all of her clients to make sure they are ready ahead of the New Year and the potential 'fiscal cliff.'

"It makes it very hard," Anderson said of the so-called 'fiscal cliff.'  "It makes it very hard to do any long-range planning with our clients as well and this is really the value we can give best to our clients-is not just doing a tax return, but looking ahead for [them.]  It's very hard right now to do that."

Anderson, a partner at the firm Carr, Riggs and Ingram, said she and her colleagues have been urging their clients to be prepared to make financial moves by December 31, 2012.  

She said taxpayers should look at accelerating possible deductions for this year, including any charitable contributions, business purchases or even medical expenses.

"Maybe eyeglasses, maybe some elective surgery or some other kind of elective procedures-go ahead and do them in 2012 and take advantage of the lower floor for the deduction of medical expenses," explained Anderson.

As it stands right now, many of the deductions people could take in 2012 will be reduced by 2013.  Anderson said speeding up the purchase of a new car or home improvement could save you money in the long run.  However, she urged people to make decisions responsibly.

"What we always say to our clients is don't ever make a purchase just for the tax impact," Anderson reasoned.  "If this is something that you currently need or you are currently going to do, then go ahead and do it now as opposed to next month when you don't get the deduction, but don't go out and spend your money simply to get a tax break.  That doesn't make any sense at all."

Anderson said the advice of any financial planner varies from client to client depending on each person's income and assets.  To get advice tailored to your situation, consult a professional.  

First Coast News

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