Our weekly roundup of tax-related investment strategies and news your clients may be thinking about.

The Virtues of Tax-Loss Harvesting

Tax-loss harvesting allows investors to sell losing securities and use the loss to offset capital gains and reduce their tax bill. However, financial advisors say that investors need to weigh all their options before using the approach since it could hurt their long-term investment goals, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. "You need to find a benefit to doing this aside from just your tax bill," says Morningstar's Christine Benz. -- Wall Street Journal

How People Plan to Spend Their Income Tax Refunds

Most taxpayers intend to improve their finances using the tax refund they expect to receive or already have received this year, according to a recent survey commissioned by Bankrate.com. Thirty-four percent claimed their tax refund would be used to pay down debt, with another 33% of the respondents saying the money would be saved or used for investments, the survey finds. And 26% said they will use their refund for food, utility bills, and other necessities. -- USA Today

The College-Savings Superpage

Clients can finance a son's or daughter's college bills through investments and tax breaks, according to MarketWatch. Regular taxes apply for taxable investment accounts in a parent's name, with capital gains tax at a federal rate of 15% or 20% for investments held for more than a year. Withdrawals from a college-savings account under a 529 Qualified Tuition Plan are federally tax-free when used to finance qualified higher education degrees. Anyone is eligible to avail of as prepaid tuition plan under the 529 QTP. -- MarketWatch

3 Tax-Efficient 'Bucket' Portfolios for Retirees

There are three "bucket" portfolios that retirees can choose depending on whether they are aggressive, moderate, or conservative investors, according to Morningstar. These model "bucket" portfolios are designed with focus on tax-sheltered accounts. These approaches can be modified to make them more tax-efficient and allow for easier cash flow in retirement. -- Morningstar

5 strategies to help you this tax season

An investment advisor shares tips that may be relevant for your client this tax season, including taking tax deductions for capital loss. Other tips include: Funding your retirement to the max; remembering that advisory fees are tax-deductible; gifting assets to children; and deducting a home-based office when used for your employer. Read more details on each of these in this article.  -- Pork Network News

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