Now is the time to
review your personal finances, sit down with your advisors, and start making
any end-of-year adjustments to minimize your tax bill and take advantage of any
tax breaks that may be expiring at the end of the year.  Though Congress still
may act to extend some tax cuts, no one knows for sure what will happen in

Reuters has a
brief checklist of issues you should review now, to include:

If you’re an investor, consider whether to take any long-term capital losses from stocks
or mutual fund shares.

·         Consider whether to lock in any capital
this year, too. The top capital gains tax rate now is 15 percent;
it’s scheduled to go up to 20 percent next year. Some are saying it may go even
higher. So, it may make sense to sell appreciated assets and pay the tax now.

If you have a flexible spending account for health or childcare benefits, look at
how much you have left and how long you have to use the money before it
evaporates. Check with your employer / benefits counselor, as some accounts
expire on December 31st, while others allow you to use the funds
until March.

Make the
most of your deductions.
This year, there is no limit on your itemized
deductions, but starting next year, people earning more than $100,000 are
likely to see their deductions limited. So, it makes sense to consider making any
charitable contributions, or paying any deductible expenses before the end of the

Taking a current
income tax deduction when you make a charitable donation is an integral aspect
of tax-savvy charitable planning. To be sure you don’t miss out on
opportunities that could impact your estate planning, consider scheduling an estate review now. Also,
visit our website to learn more about Charitable Planning.

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