Mr. Tax Man

It’s December and a good time to start tax planning.  For example now is a pretty good time to realize investment losses by selling some stocks or mutual funds that have lost money (which haven’t).  Last I checked the amount of tax loss deductible from ordinary income was $3000.  Just be careful of the wash sale rule which effectively prohibits buying back a stock/etc for 30 days: wash sale.

Another thing to consider is mutual fund capital gain distributions.  There’s nothing fun about paying taxes on a distribution from a fund that has lost money.  It is often helpful to consider funds that have good tax management (index funds are often excellent at keeping capital gains distributions to a minimum.)  If a fund is about to dump an unwanted distribution on you consider selling it before the distribution date.

Finally 401(k), IRA, 403b, and similar accounts.  If you are not maxed out, consider upping your 2009 401(k) contribution.  You might also consider making a 2008 IRA contribution if your are not subject to income limits.


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