Thursday, March 29, 2012

Smart Moves To Beat Rising Tax Rates

In a rare show of bipartisanship, lawmakers back extending the Bush income tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 and singles with incomes below $200,000. So, most taxpayers are unlikely to see a change next year. But teh top rate higher earners which will go to 39.6% from 35% if Congress does nothing is still in play. The political fight will center on the question of whether or not any tax hike will hurt the weak economic recovery.

Even if every cut is renewed, a permanent extension is hard to imagine in this age of deficits. So make hay now. You might convert an IRA to a Roth, especially if your income is low this year. Accelerate income and delay deductions if you can.

If your portfolio is out of whack because a single stock or fund is way up, think about reaping gains when you're sure of paying 15%. If you have substantial capital losses, consider saving them to offset future gains.

If your estate is worth 1 million to 3.5 million dollars it's easy to think you're not going to be affected, and that can be dangerous! One good suggestion would be to make annual tax-free gifts of $13,000 per person to reduce your estate now.

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