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Wrap It Up Right

Like your holiday packages, year-end finances are all about presentation--and planning.

This story appears in the December 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Like most things in life, year-end tax planning can getcomplicated if you let it. But it doesn't have to be. Thesimplest form of planning involves nothing more than deferringincome into next year and/or accelerating deductions into thisyear. The self-employed generally have an easier time switchingthings up a little in the weeks before New Year's Eve, too.

Pushing income, and the tax that goes with it, into the futuresounds reasonable enough. It's not hard, either. You couldarrange to have your compensation or annual bonus paid in Januaryinstead of December. Or, if you're retired instead of working,you may want to hold off on December's retirement-accountwithdrawal until you're done humming along with that laststanza of "Auld Lang Syne."

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