October 22, 2012
Robert Spielman, Tax & Business Services Partner, Quoted in Reuters Article "Tax-Loss Harvesting and the Fiscal Cliff Don't Mix"
By Amy Feldman
With taxes in flux because of the looming expiration at year-end of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, it is time for investors to play the capital gains and losses game.
A recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch report gauged the prospect of a resolution of the fiscal cliff by year end - with all of its tax consequences - at just 15 percent. Instead, Merrill predicted that the most likely scenario was a multi-stage fix that takes a few tries and a few months to get done.
So while you usually can plan your year-end tax strategy with a look to the following year, this year you have to make your tax moves without such certainty. Because without any action by Congress, the rate on long-term capital gains will rise from 15 percent to 20 percent.
By the time Congress decides what the 2013 tax landscape will look like, it will be too late to make changes to your 2012 planning to account for it. And if changes are applied retroactively, "it will be too late to undo your actions of 2012," said Robert Spielman, a partner at accounting firm Marcum.