YOU Magazine - November 2007 - Ten Ways to Lower Your Tax Bill By Mary Beth Franklin
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Kathleen Petty     Kathleen Petty
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Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
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Ten Ways to Lower Your Tax Bill
By Mary Beth Franklin

Ten Ways to Lower Your Tax Bill - By Mary Beth Franklin

It's only November, and preparing your taxes is the last thing on your mind, right? Well, what if we told you there are several steps you can take right now that will help you avoid the April tax scramble and save thousands of dollars in the process. For the best of these tax-saving strategies, YOU turned to our good friends at Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine to make it even easier.

1. Don't Buy a Tax Bill. If you're thinking of purchasing mutual funds between now and the end of the year, think twice – you might end up owing Uncle Sam.

2. Beware of the AMT. Should you accelerate deductions to cut taxes? It depends – you could end up with a bigger tax bill.

3. Donate Appreciated Assets. Giving stocks or mutual fund shares instead of cash to charity will let you score a deduction and avoid a capital gains tax bill.

4. Winning With Losers. Look on the bright side: Selling a losing asset at this time of year can be a great way to rebalance your portfolio and save on taxes.

5. Understanding the Gift Tax.
If you don't use your $12,000 annual exclusion by December 31, you lose it.

6. Why Your Kids Need a Roth IRA. Looking for the perfect gift for your children? Open a Roth for them, and start them on the road to retirement security.

7. Lower Your Taxes by Thinking Green. Outfitting your home with new storm doors and windows or buying a gas-efficient hybrid car can help you score tax credits.

8. Max Out Your Retirement Savings. For most people, the best way to cut your tax bill today is to maximize your retirement savings for tomorrow.

9. Time for an IRA Distribution? The law requires you to begin taking money out of traditional IRAs or face a penalty. But a new temporary provision allows you to direct your IRA distributions to a charity tax-free.

10. Trim Taxes with Flex Accounts. If you typically under-fund your flexible spending account – or skip participating altogether because of concerns about the use-it-or-lose-it rule – fear no more.

Reprinted with permission. All Contents © 2007 The Kiplinger Washington Editors

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