Investment tax tips

As year-end approaches, take a closer look at your investment portfolio. There may be some tax-saving strategies worth considering.

For example –

* Wash sales. Thinking of selling a security before December 31 to take advantage of a capital loss? To make sure the loss is deductible, refrain from buying a substantially identical security during the 61-day period that begins 30 days before you sell and ends 30 days after.

* Worthless stocks. For capital loss purposes, securities with no value are treated as if you sold them on the last day of the year. Your loss is generally the same as your cost.

If you want to deduct worthless securities on your 2011 return, you’ll need to prove the security became worthless during the year and that it truly has no value. Not sure you can meet those requirements? Selling before year-end may be a better option.

* Stock donations. Giving appreciated stock to charity lets you avoid capital gains tax and claim a charitable deduction.

In order to deduct the donation on your 2011 return, the gift must be complete. For certificates you endorse and present directly, the date of mailing or other delivery is considered the date of the gift. When your broker or the issuing company handles the transaction, the gift is complete when the stock is titled to the charity.

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today's small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it. Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission. Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations. She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She currently sits is a board member at two local organizations. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor.
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