December is the time to look at your general finances and see if there are anything that needs to be done before the end of the year. While there should be nothing special or arbitrary about one day of the year versus another, January 1 is always the start of a new year with tax implications if nothing else.

The first thing you might want to do is talk to your accountant or financial advisor to see if there are anything special you might want to do. Generally, you want to find opportunities that are large enough to make a difference if there is a suggestion that you have to spend money to make it happen. There are things that are either free or very low cost that can make a difference for some people.

If you have a portfolio of stocks in a taxable account you should see if you have winners and losers. You may want to sell the losses and take the gains and offset the two to create a tax neutral situation. There are limitations with regard to your ability to get back into the same stocks. Any good broker should be ahead of the curve on this type of activity and have flagged opportunities during the year.

While the new tax law is far from finished, there is a high probability that some items will not be deductible in the future. Prepaying property taxes might make sense this year. In addition, if you pay estimated state income taxes, paying the 4th payment that is due on January 15, 2018 in 2017, might make sense as well.

Talk to your hired help and make sure you understand their suggestions and that you feel comfortable carrying out any different strategies. In the end it is your money.

For further information, please contact Wolcott Financial Solutions.

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