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5 year-end strategies to cut tax bills now

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5 important year-end strategies to cut your tax bills now
Want to minimize the tax bite before the year ends? Clients should consider maxing out their retirement plan contributions and setting up a retirement plan for their business, according to this Forbes article. They may also bunch their itemized deductions and consider donor-advised funds or qualified charitable distributions when donating to charity. Those who are sitting on depreciated holdings may sell these positions and use the losses to offset taxable gains. And for those who run their own small business, or are self-employed, setting up the right retirement plan can allow them to stash away huge amounts of money.

Want more bang for your 401(k) buck? Demand an employer match.
Workers who want to make the most of their 401(k) plans are advised to talk to their employer and ask for a matching contribution, according to this article on USA Today. To convince their employer, workers should emphasize that the match can help reduce the company's taxable income and tax burden. The match can also lead to greater employee participation and loyalty to the company.

Most young workers are using retirement accounts like an ATM
A study by E-Trade Financial has found that 59% of investors in the 18-34 age bracket have already experienced tapping into their retirement account, according to this article on CNBC. The percentage of younger workers taking withdrawals from these accounts has steadily grown for the past three years, the study found. "There's a temptation to access retirement accounts, but it should be an option of last resort," says an expert with E-Trade.

Claiming Social Security at 62? A Roth IRA can prevent pitfalls
Clients who want to file for Social Security retirement benefits early should consider contributing to a Roth IRA, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. That's because aside from tax-free growth on savings, Roth distributions are also not taxed. The tax-exempt withdrawals will allow them to avoid a substantial increase in their taxable income and consequently any withholding in their retirement as a result of the earnings test.

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