These are transcripts from Wes Moss’s interview with CNN on December 28, 2013.
View the full transcripts on CNN
FEYERICK: Maybe even more important, well, is making sure that you don’t pay more than you have to. So it help you out this tax season, we brought in an expert. We’re joined this morning by Wes Moss. He’s a certified financial planner and the host of “Money Matters” radio. So, Wes, what are two or three key things that the average person can do to offset some of their taxes?
WES MOSS, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER: Well, there’s a few things, and we still have two days left. So we still have Monday and Tuesday, two trading days in 2013, and they’re really important days. So if you have had gains so far this year, and it’s been a good year in the stock market, up almost 30 percent, if you have gains this year, you still have two days to find maybe one or two securities that have — that you’ve not made money in or you’ve lost money in, it’s called tax loss selling, so you can sell those and pay less in capital gains for 2013.
FEYERICK: So the money you made on stocks, basically the money you’ve lost, you can use —
MOSS: To offset the gains.
FEYERICK: — to balance it out.
MOSS: Yes. Capital gains taxes, 15 percent, as high as 23.8 percent for some Americans. So this is a really important thing to do.
BLACKWELL: What about the charitable donations, because we’ve got a couple of more days to do that, not just the tangible items?
MOSS: Right. So two things. You can give stock away, a good idea, highly appreciated stock. If you’ve made money on something, give that stock away, get the deduction for it. It has to be done for the next two days, trading days, December 31, or by December 31. And then give away cash, of course. One interesting way to think about this, you could actually make a charitable donation on your credit card, it has to be done by 12/31, but not pay for it until 2014.
FEYERICK: Which means you’re buying yourself extra time on that one.
MOSS: Sure. There’s some wiggle room, absolutely.
FEYERICK: What about pretax retirement, giving money into those funds?
MOSS: All right, this is where you have much more time. You have until April 15th, whenever you file your taxes in 2014 to make these IRA contributions of $5,500 or $6,500 depending on your age. Also, if you’re a small business owner or you’re an independent contractor, there’s something called a SEP IRA, and you can put up to $51,000 into that, really dramatically lowering the taxes for 2013.
FEYERICK: What about the mortgage payments or student loan payments? If you’ve got one due at the start of 2014, does it help to pay it before the end of the year, to write off that interest?
MOSS: Well, again, when you’re able to make — get deductions, a lot of that is subject to how much you earn. So it really depends on what your income level is. If you’re going to be able to get some sort of deduction for that. That depends on the overall income. But again, you want to try to do as many things as you can right before the end of this year, 2013, in order to lower the taxes in 2013.
FEYERICK: All right, Wes Moss, appreciate it.
MOSS: Thank you.