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Actions to Consider Before Year-End

Accelerate income and defer deductions. If your business operates as a flow-through, accelerate your income to 2012 to take advantage of the lower rates.

Accelerate itemized deductions. Closing tax loopholes was big during the campaign. Loopholes are your credits and deductions that other do not use and do not receive a benefit from those loopholes.

Maximize capital gains. Capital gains rates also came under fire during the campaign; expect them to increase in 2013. Plan now to limit the impact on your portfolio. If you have assets that appreciated, sell them in 2012 to harvest gains at the lower tax rates.

Succession planning for the business and the family. If you plan on leaving your business to family, start the transfer now to avoid increased gift and estate taxes. Estate and gift taxes apply to liquid assets, and to fixed assets like businesses. If you don't plan for these estate and gift taxes, the government will get a bigger piece of assets transferred in subsequent years based on current law. Substantial gift tax exclusions decreases and gift tax rates increases are scheduled to occur in 2013.

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