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Two old and ordinary year-end tax ideas that will help no matter what Congress decides

By Dian Vujovich

Nothing like wanting to do a little year-end tax planning and not knowing which way to turn thanks to the fact that no one knows for sure what’s going to happen to tax rates next year! But just ’cause nobody knows doesn’t mean you can’t do some planning.

For instance, no matter what happens to any or all of the Bush’s tax rates and breaks, all anyone who wants to save a buck or two on their 2010 tax return need do is add to their tax-deferred retirement account(s). Doing so will reduce your 2010 tax bill and could—provided you’re a good chooser—increase the value of your future nest egg. The max you can contribute to a 401(k) is $16,500.
Those over age 50 can boost that by $5,500.

Outside of the workplace, April 15, 2011 is the deadline for making contributions to an IRA or Roth IRA.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Roth IRAs. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a high school graduate, for that matter, to know that taxes are going to be going up in the future. While the exact date isn’t yet known, why not go ahead, give yourself a guaranteed future tax break and make your retirement contributions into an account where those taxes won’t impact you?

That means, opening a Roth IRA. In it, you’ll pay taxes now on the money contributed. But not have to pay them again. Period. No withdrawal taxes will be due. Yahoo!

Nor, will you be subjected to all kinds of those goofy rules about how to get at your money.

In today’s environment, it’s easy to let politics or Congress get in the way of taking care of your future. Don’t let that happen.

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