Year-End Tax Strategies

Year-End Tax Strategies

by Kim Custer, CRPC


As a group, the rock and roll generation loves to have fun with their money, but they're always on the lookout for a good deal. One money-saving idea that normally gets lost in the shuffle is maximizing tax savings. Here are several things you can do before the year ends to decrease dear old Uncle Sam's cut of your hard-earned money:

  • Sell stocks that are down and take the tax losses this year. In other words, offset your capital gains with capital losses. You can deduct up to $3,000 in excess capital losses against any type of taxable income.
  • Max out your tax-deductible retirement plan contributions.
  • Convert a tax liability to a tax deduction by giving appreciated stock, instead of cash, to your favorite not-for-profit organization.
  • Defer your bonus until next year.
  • Use your credit card to pay for deductible expenses such as charitable, medical, business, and miscellaneous itemized deductions. You won't need to pay the bill for 30 days. You get the float.
  • Consider paying your state and local taxes now, to get the deduction this year.
  • Take advantage of "gifting." Each person can gift up to $11,000 in 2005 without incurring gift tax.

These are just a few ideas to start you thinking about year-end tax planning. Be sure to talk with your financial adviser and/or your CPA to confirm that you don't have an Alternative Minimum Tax problem. He or she will be able to help you implement these and other strategies.