What to do with unwanted gifts

Here are three of the week’s top pieces of financial advice, gathered from around the web:

What to do with unwanted gifts
When it comes to unwanted holiday gifts, “most of us choose to politely keep them,” said Andrea Woroch at US News. Roughly $16 billion was wasted on unwanted gifts in 2017. Returning or exchanging anything is a “dreaded task,” particularly without a receipt. To get the most out of an unwanted item, regift it. While not all gifts are suitable for regifting, candles, coffee mugs, household items, and electronics make great candidates because “they’re not intrinsically personal.” When passing along the item, try to be as thoughtful as you are when purchasing gifts. Failing that, you can organize a gift swap among friends or family. Just ensure it is “with a different social circle” than the one you received your gift from. Consider also donating your unwanted gifts. Some local charities “offer a tax benefit in exchange for your generosity.”

Planning your 2018 taxes
“Not sure what to make of the massive tax overhaul? Don’t worry, you’ve got some time to figure it out,” said Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post. While many changes went into effect Jan. 1, tax experts warn against knee-jerk reactions. Their advice: Begin the year examining your taxes “not one deduction at a time, but from a comprehensive perspective.” If your tax rate is decreasing, consider filing a new W-4 to alter your payroll withholdings “so that you can get more of your money throughout the year.” Other changes in play: reforms to 529 tax-advantaged savings accounts, deductions for out-of-pocket medical expenses, and job-related moving deductions. When in doubt, ask a tax professional. “Despite claims of simplicity, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is anything but.”

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Source:: The Week – Lifestyle

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