The April 18 income tax filing deadline has passed, but don’t be tempted to set aside any tax planning until the year-end is approaching. For maximum tax savings, now is the time to start tax planning for 2016.

There are more opportunities to reduce your tax liability if you start planning now. A tremendous number of variables affect your overall tax liability for the year. Starting to look at these variables early in the year can give you more opportunities to reduce your 2016 taxes.

For example, the timing of income and deductible expenses can affect both the rate you pay and when you pay. By regularly reviewing your year-to-date income, expenses and potential tax, you may be able to time income and expenses in a way that reduces your tax liability or at least defers it.

In other words, tax planning shouldn’t be just a year-end activity.

Taxpayers also have a better idea of what to expect in the coming year. Planning early has been a challenge, because it was uncertain whether a lot of expired tax breaks would be extended for the coming year. There is now the PATH Act of 2015 (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act), which extended a wide variety of tax breaks through 2016 or, in some cases, later. It also made many breaks permanent.

For instance, the PATH Act made permanent the deduction for state and local sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes, and it made permanent tax-free IRA distributions to charities for account holders age 70½ or older.

Don’t miss an opportunity to reduce your tax liability. If you want to get started on your 2016 tax planning now and need help, learn more about our tax services. They can discuss what strategies you should be implementing now and throughout the year to minimize your tax liability.