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Financial Planning > Tax Planning

For an extra edge, troll the tax code

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With so many clients losing so much in portfolio value in 2008, wouldn’t it be a nice to be able to surprise them with an extra tax break or two? Advisors who keep abreast of ever-shifting tax policy are positioned to pleasantly surprise their clients by exploiting perks buried in the tax code.

The state and federal tax codes are rife with narrow, niche-type tax breaks. It’s incumbent on advisors to know what they are and how to use them before they expire, says Susan O’Grady of Equipoise Wealth Management in Denver. With the green movement gaining momentum, one of her new favorites is an expanded residential energy tax credit offered by Uncle Sam to help taxpayers cover the cost of investments in renewable energy installations such as solar panels. The credit is available through 2016 and covers up to 30 percent of the cost of such an installation, says O’Grady.