Appreciating investments that don’t generate current income aren’t taxed until sold, deferring tax and perhaps allowing you to time the sale to your tax advantage. Review your year-to-date gains and losses now to see if selling any additional investments by December 31 can reduce your 2014 tax liability.
For example, if you’ve cashed in some big gains during the year, look for unrealized losses in your portfolio and consider selling them to offset your gains. Or if you have net losses, consider selling some appreciated investments, because the losses can absorb the gain. If net losses exceed net gains, you can deduct only $3,000 ($1,500 for married filing separately) of the net losses against ordinary income, though you can carry forward excess losses indefinitely.
If you bought the same investment at different times and prices and want to sell high-tax-basis shares to reduce gain or increase a loss to offset other gains, be sure to specifically identify which block of shares is being sold.
For more ideas on how to reduce taxes on your investments, contact us. We can provide strategies that are right for your situation. But don’t wait — most strategies must be implemented by December 31 to reduce your 2014 tax liability.