Traditional year-end advice holds that you should speed up or slow down tax payments or self-employment income - say, by prepaying January's property taxes in December or delaying bills to clients until the start of the year.
That way, you can take advantage of possible changes in your tax bracket or reduce your exposure to the alternative minimum tax. But which of us non-C.P.A.s are really qualified to game the system that way?
Consult an accountant if you want help, or focus on simpler tasks with a proven payoff.
Like this: If you got a big tax refund last year, adjust your withholding for 2007 to put extra cash in your paycheck. And make sure you have the correct beneficiaries listed on your retirement accounts and insurance policies, particularly if your family circumstances have changed recently (for example, if you had a child or got divorced). "With at least three-quarters of the people I see," says Debbra Dillon, a certified financial planner in Boise, "something's out of whack with their beneficiary designation."