Michael Kafoglis

Happy tax season! I realize that’s probably an oxymoron for most people, but I have a confession: I like it. Suppose you’re obsessed with numbers and details like me. In that case, digging through diligent records in your file cabinet at home, ticking and tying every dollar of income, dividends, and interest, and accounting for every possible deduction is not a bad day, in my opinion (and it just might be how I spent my Sunday afternoon this weekend. There’s no more football, what else am I supposed to do?). And when the amount due matches precisely what you had calculated six months earlier… boy, does that feel good.

I know I’ve lost most people by now, but to anyone who has read this far, I reward you with some last-minute reminders as you gather up your tax documents to send to your CPAs (or for the brave, as you fire up your preferred tax preparation software and do it yourself!).

  1. You probably hear this every year, but there is still time to make a 2023 contribution to an IRA or Roth IRA! You have until the date that you file your 2023 taxes to contribute. We generally prefer the Roth IRA if you’re below the gross income limits for 2023 (single filers: $138,000 / joint filers: $218,000). If you’re above the income limits, you can still choose to make a Backdoor Roth contribution. This would involve making a nondeductible 2023 IRA contribution and then immediately converting that amount to Roth. These rules can vary from person to person, so please reach out to us if you’d like to discuss this!
  2. Don’t forget about Roth IRAs for your kids! The only requirement to contribute to a Roth IRA is “earned” income. Babysitting, mowing lawns, washing cars…it all counts, even if no W-2 or 1099 is issued. There is no age limit as long as there is real earned income. I emphasize real because doing chores around the house or babysitting for siblings one night doesn’t count. As a general rule of thumb, the Roth IRA is fair game if you have your kids file a tax return for their income. Each child is limited to the higher of $6,500 or their earned income (so if they earned $1,000, the limit is $1,000). Another great benefit is that they don’t have to use their money. You can make the contribution on their behalf.
  3.   If you have a high-deductible health plan with a Health Savings Account, ensure you and your employer contributions have hit the 2023 maximum ($3,850 for self-only coverage and $7,750 for family coverage). Add an extra $1,000 to that if you’re over 50. You have until your tax filing date to top off those contributions with after-tax funds.
  4.  If you live in a state with no state income tax (where two of our three Hill offices reside – sorry, St. Louis), you will likely get a deduction for sales taxes you paid in 2023. You could collect every receipt and total the sales tax on every item you purchased in 2023 (and I would not judge you), or you can do what most people do and take the IRS’s estimated amount. Most people don’t realize, however, that you can also add sales tax from significant purchases on top of the estimated amount. If you bought a car, boat, or Super Bowl tickets (really anything that made you wince when you swiped the credit card), don’t forget to tell your tax preparer! Unfortunately, state and local taxes are limited to a total deduction of $10,000, so there’s a good chance your property taxes already exceed that limited amount anyway.
  5.  If you have self-employment income (as reported on Schedule C), don’t forget to make a SEP-IRA contribution. The limit is based on your amount of self-employment income, but the contribution itself will also count as an “expense” against your self-employment income. Your tax preparer can tell you how much you can contribute to a SEP IRA.
  6. Lastly, here’s a list of a few pesky little forms that can be missed. Don’t forget to send these to your tax preparer!
  • Form 5498: If you have an IRA, you have a 5498! This is an informational form that tracks contributions and distributions from IRAs and Roth IRAs. You can file your taxes without it, but giving these to your CPA will ensure that your IRA cost basis information is kept accurate year over year, especially if you’ve ever made nondeductible (after-tax) IRA contributions.
  • Form 1099-SA: If you took money out of a Health Savings Account in 2023, this form will report that amount. A copy of this is also sent to the IRS, so you might get a letter in the mail if you forget it.
  • Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD): If you sent any portion of a required minimum IRA distribution directly to a 501c(3)charity, your form 1099-R will NOT specify that. It’s the tax preparer’s responsibility to note any QCDs. If HIG facilitated a QCD for you in 2023, you have nothing to worry about. We’ll let your tax preparer know.

And if you’ve made it THIS far, I applaud you and thank you for sticking it out. I leave you with a quote:  “Of life’s two certainties, there is only one where you will be granted an extension.” –Anonymous.



This information is educational and does not intend to make an offer for the sale of any specific securities, investments, strategies, or tax advice.  Investments involve risk and, past performance is not indicative of future performance. Return will be reduced by advisory fees and any other expenses incurred in the management of a client’s account. Consult with a qualified financial adviser or CPA before implementing any investment or tax strategy.

Hill Investment Group