November has arrived, chock full of things to put on our to-do lists.
There is, of course, voting. The presidential (and more) election is on Nov. 6.
Then there's Thanksgiving. Regardless of whether you're going to visit relatives and/or friends or they are coming to see you later this month, there's a ton to take care of before Nov. 22 arrives.
Somewhere amid doing your civic duty and dealing with the coming holiday rush, there are some tax moves you can make in November to ensure that your 2012 tax bill isn't too big.
As mentioned, there's an election next week and your vote has tax implications. President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney have markedly different tax plans; check them out before heading to your polling place.
The occupant of the White House for the next four years will have an impact on your 2013 and beyond taxes. But there also are plenty of more direct moves you can make in connection with your 2012 taxes.
Adjust your withholding now so that the money coming out of your final 2012 paychecks is closer to your actual tax bill.
Contribute to your retirement accounts. Your 401(k) money goes inot that workplace account before taxes are calculated, saving you a few dollars now while helping you save for your golden years. A contribution to a traditional IRA might be deductible. Even if it isn't, the sooner you contribute, the more time your account has to grow tax deferred. And if you have a Roth IRA, that money will compound tax free.
You also should evaluate your portfolio. If you think the capital gains tax rate might go up next year as scheduled, sell appreciated assets now to lock in the gains at the lower rate.
Also look at what bad investments you can sell to offset those gains.
You also might want to hold onto some of those losers a while longer if you think the rates will go up. They will be worth more when used to reduce gains that are taxed at higher rates.
These are just a few of the November Tax Moves detailed over in the ol' blog's left column. For more just scroll down a bit.