The 2006 tax year is slipping away and with it your chances to cut your coming IRS bill.
The most crucial thing right now is any stock moves you need to make. Call your broker or log onto your online account and sell those losers ASAP. If you don't, you could be stuck owing more capital gains tax than you should. Sure the long-term rate is only 15 percent for most of us, but if you can zero it out, then what in the heck are you waiting for?
After that's done, you've got a bit of breathing room. Most charities will still take donations, both cash and goods, through Sunday, Dec. 31.
Then there's the house. Always a lot of work to do there. It'll eat into your holiday weekend, but Lowe's and Home Depot and your local hardware store will be happy to sell you (and possibly even help you install) some of the energy efficient items such as replacement windows or insulation that could net you a 2006 tax credit. Just make sure the tax-approved improvements are in place by the end of Sunday.
Speaking of energy, if you're looking for a new car, consider a hybrid. You'll get that tax credit and, thanks to late but welcome Congressional action, you'll also be able to write off the auto's sales tax if you choose to itemize that amount instead of any state income tax you paid.
And if you have your own business, either full-time or on the side to supplement your regular job, on Saturday or Sunday you can wander into an office supply store and buy items that you can deduct against your self-employment income.
You can find more year-end tax move tips in this earlier posting. But hurry! Tax saving time is a-wasting!