Late-year cramming for tax time 2000

April's tax deadline may not be looming, but these are the last days to make moves - including donating money to charity - to lower your 2000 tax bill. CCH Inc., a Riverwoods, Ill.-based provider of tax- and business-law information, offers some tips:

Shift income into next year. If your employer pays you a year-end bonus, for example, try to arrange to have it paid in 2001. If you're retired, carefully plan when to take large distributions from IRAs.

Time your deductions. If you have a property-tax bill for 2000 that's due in January, you can pay it in December to secure a deduction on your 2000 return. The same rule applies for making a charitable deduction.

Review your investments. Investors who sustained losses in this year's roller-coaster stock market should know that net-capital losses up to $3,000 can reduce income for 2000. Losses in excess of $3,000 won't reduce this year's income, but can be carried forward to 2001. Look into setting up a tax-deductible IRA and getting in a payment before Jan. 1.

Check your work benefits. It won't help you for 2000, but if your company has an open-enrollment period this time of year for benefits, look closely at healthcare, dependent care, and 401(k) options that you pay for with pre-tax dollars.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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