Last-minute 2017 tips to take advantage of newly passed tax laws

Experts say deduct now, get extra income in new year

$2,524,320,134,000 -- Total taxes collected by the IRS in fiscal year 2012
$2,524,320,134,000 -- Total taxes collected by the IRS in fiscal year 2012 (iStock/skodonnell)

ROANOKE, Va. – An already busy month is getting much busier as new chores are piling up on our end-of-year to-do lists, thanks to a sweeping tax package that's been approved in Washington, D.C.

A key part of the new tax laws doubles the standard deduction, and as a result fewer people are expected to itemize in the coming tax seasons.

David Kembel, owner of Kembel Tax Service, says if you're looking to itemize on your 2017 taxes, it's important to make those donations and contributions now. Lug your kids' old clothes to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, write a bigger check to your favorite charity, and if you haven't paid your property tax bill yet, do it now.

You'll still be able to itemize for all of those things this year, as the new law won't change the 2017 returns, which we'll be filing for starting in January.

As for money coming in, he says to hold off on that if you can.

"If you've got any control over a bonus or anything, with tax rates dropping, it would be better to get it in 2018," said Kembel. "If you're thinking about cashing out some retirement money, it might be better to put that off to 2018, since tax rates are dropping for most people you'd think it would be lower taxes then."

His advice is simple, push off any income until 2018 when you'll get a bigger tax break, and take all of the deductions you can in 2017, while they're still available through the current tax plan.