Intellectual Property

Miss The Tax Extension? There May Be One Hidden Bonus

Patents & new ideas from around minnesota

By Nicole Middendorf

Tax Tips

In a perfect world, we all would have filed our corporate returns by March 15, 2012 and individual returns by april 17, 2012. However, if you filed for an extension, it's not the end of the world. Missing the tax extension happens to the best of us. filing for an extension allows you more time to com- plete your return and contribute to your Ira.

You can contribute $5,000 into your roth or tra- ditional Ira for 2011 or $6,000 if you are over the age of 50. the income limit to contribute to a roth Ira for 2011 is $107,000 for a single person and $169,000 for a married couple filing a joint return. Make sure to determine if you qualify and if you do, take advantage of the roth or traditional Ira.

for small business owners, you can establish a Sep Ira and contribute 25 percent of your net income from your business of up to $49,000 per year. You can have a Sep Ira even if you work at a company closer look at the stocks you own and possibly sell. If you bought some investments years ago and have never looked at them again, consider why you still own them and determine if they are the right invest- ments for you. Sometimes, selling a stock that has suffered a loss can be a great strategy for turning a bad investment into a smart tax break. Make sure to keep an inventory of your investments and communicate regularly with your financial planner. In a taxable ac- count, your losses can offset capital gains or you can write off up to $3,000 a year as a loss.

If you completed your taxes and received a refund, you are loaning your income to the government throughout the year and receiving no benefit on your money. You are better off changing your w2 with- holding to receive more money in your monthly pay- check, then using that money to your advantage.

Takeaway Tip:

Take a closer look at the stocks you own and possibly sell.

Change your W2 to receive more money up-front instead of witholding your paycheck to the government.