17 Year-End Moves That Can Preserve Your Tax Benefits
Barring any tax legislation that takes effect this year, your best overall tax strategy in 2017 is much as it would be in any year: To postpone receiving income that will be highly taxed and increasing deductions to offset current income. The less income you realize, the lower your bill. In that vein, here are 17 smart year-end tax moves to consider.
1. Harvest capital losses. If you sell securities at a loss before 2018, you can use those losses to offset gains from other sales—including those from selling stock or other holdings you've owned for a year or less. Those would otherwise be taxed at the high rates for ordinary income. Losses that exceed your gains can offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income, and you can deduct additional amounts in future tax years.
2. Harvest capital gains. Meanwhile, if you decide to take profits on securities you've owned for more than a year, the maximum tax rate on these long-term gains is 15%, or 20% if you're in the top tax bracket for ordinary income.
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