Five tips for year-end tax planning

In my CNBC article, Five Tips for Year-End Tax Planning, I focus on some of the not-so-obvious things you should consider to reduce your taxes before we say goodbye to 2013. As an investment advisor and financial planner, this is the same type of financial advice I give to my clients.

The good news about tax planning this year versus recent years is that tax brackets are no longer temporary (at least for now). With Congress focused on other things, year-end tax planning depends more on your individual or family’s situation.

While the financial and economic downturn in 2008 and 2009 was hard on portfolios, it did give us losses that we’ve been using to offset the gains since then. Now, many mutual funds have used up those carried forward losses so we may see capital gains this year. What can you do about them? I touch on several good ideas that investors should consider.

Many investors, especially those with bond funds may have losses that they’re not aware of. (Hint: reinvested dividends may be the culprit.) Can you harvest some of those losses to offset gains?

What about that neglected 401(k)? It’s time to take a closer look at how you’ve invested your retirement dollars. Is your allocation (the percentage you decided to have in stock funds, bond funds, alternatives, cash, etc.) still the same? If not, there’s an easy fix.

Did your employer add a Roth option to your 401(k) and should you consider it in addition to, or instead of, your traditional 401(k)?

It’s a busy time of year, no doubt, but taking a few smart steps before you pop open the champagne to ring in the New Year could save you a lot of money in taxes this year and next.

Read my CNBC article, Five Tips for Year-End Tax Planning to learn all my advice to help you save on taxes.

Barry Glassman, CFP®
Latest posts by Barry Glassman, CFP® (see all)
PLEASE SEE IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION