Anchor Intro: With holiday preparation in full swing, income taxes are probably the last thing on your mind. But a few minutes now could be worth hundreds of dollars in tax savings next April. Bankrate.com explains.
Voice over 1: It's hard enough to think about income taxes in April, much less during the holidays. But a few minutes spent now could be worth serious money when tax time comes.
Voice over 2: For example, did your life change this year? If so, talk to a pro.
SOT "You got divorced, had a child -- what kind of tax savings can I get from the child. Can I put money in the child's name, can I put money aside for their college education."
Voice over 3: That's why you talk to a pro before year-end: Things you do now can help next April.
Voice over 4: Another example? Your IRA was trashed by the market. Well, maybe now's the time to turn it into a Roth IRA.
SOT: "You're allowed to convert a regular IRA to a Roth IRA. In other words, convert a taxable income IRA into a never-taxed income IRA. And you can do that now at a low cost because the value of your portfolio is down."
Voice over 5: And if your stock losses aren't in an IRA, be sure to sell them before year-end so you can get that write-off.
SOT: "The one thing that's really important is to make the best use of the losses that you've incurred. Now is the best time to harvest those losses."
Standup: Bottom line? Year-end financial planning is all about seeing where you are right this second and seeing how you can improve your situation later. So spend a few minutes today, maybe save some serious bucks next year. For Bankrate.com, I'm Kristin Arnold.