The (tax) year in review

This post is primarily to rehash several earlier posts that are of particular relevance as we come to the end of the year. In chronological order, here are this year’s posts that should be revisited for year-end tax planning purposes.

  • IRS offers new guidance for same-sex spouses & registered domestic partners in community property states. This one doesn’t have to be addressed by year-end, but most same-sex partners who benefit from this ruling will run out of time to claim a refund for 2007 if they don’t file an amendment by April 15, 2011.
  • Several valuable tax benefits may be ending at the end of this year…or maybe not. The following benefits are among those slated to end, but they may be extended as part of the latest tax bill being negotiated right now in Congress: The American Opportunity Credit, certain energy credits, and favorable tax rates for long-term capital gains. (See UPDATE at the end.)
  • Individuals considering a Roth conversion for 2010 are running out of time to make the conversion this year. But before you act, make sure you’re not acting based on one of these common myths.
  • And finally here’s some basic tips from the IRS.

If you’ve got year-end tax questions, now’s the chance to ask. If you have general questions, please put them in the comments and I’ll address them here.

UPDATE: The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 was passed the week after this article was originally published. It appears the American Opportunity Tax Credit and favorable treatment of Capital Gains & Qualified Dividends has been extended for two more years. Most of the Energy Credits have also been extended.

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