1. Beat the stock-trading deadline. Sell stocks before year-end to offset capital gains or capital losses you recognized earlier in the year. Either way, you win. Any excess loss can then offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income.
Tip: It’s the trading date of the transactions that controls, not the settlement date.
2. Charge charitable donations. You can deduct donations on this year's return if you charge them by credit card before year-end. It doesn’t matter if you pay off the charge next year.
Tip: The same rule applies to online contributions, so long as they’re posted by Dec. 31.
3. Prepay state and local taxes. Send in state and local taxes that are due in January. That way, you can deduct the paymen...(register to read more)