Changes in income: If you know that your income will change this year to next, there are some planning opportunities.
If your income is set to decrease because of an event like retirement and you anticipate that your income in future years will be much less, use the higher income tax bracket this year as an opportunity to donate more to charity. If you're not quite ready to choose the charities, use a donor-advised fund that will allow you to take the large deduction this year at a higher tax bracket and direct the funds to your charities in the future.
(Read more: It's how you donate that counts)
If you started a business or have had little or no income but expect it to rise next year and into the future, consider using the temporary lower tax bracket to your advantage by converting an IRA to a Roth. You may pay little or no tax due to the low income, yet enjoy tax-free growth and avoid Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) later on.
Consider a Roth 401(k): Most companies don't announce the addition of a Roth 401(k) to their plan lineup with balloons and streamers, but if your employer added one, it may be an opportunity to save in a different way.
(Read more: Happy Holidays, get tax planning started)
According to outsourcing firm Aon Hewitt's 2013 Trends and Experience in Defined Contribution Plans survey, 50 percent of employer plans now allow Roth contributions, up from 11 percent in 2007, but only 9.6 percent of eligible employees elect to save in a Roth.
If you have the Roth option, you can contribute to both the traditional 401(k) and the Roth, or, if your plan allows conversions, you can convert to a Roth if you think your tax bracket will be higher in the future.
Set up auto rebalancing: I am a huge fan of this buy low/sell high strategy that automatically rebalances your account either quarterly, semi-annually or annually.
(Read more: Time to rebalance your portfolio)
With the stock market reaching new highs seemingly every day, U.S. stocks have far outperformed most asset classes, and your 401(k) is likely overweight U.S. stocks.This may be fine, but keep in mind that the risk may be higher than you originally intended.
Auto rebalancing sets up a discipline to keep risk in check. If you had this in place over the last seven years, your account would have been selling stocks leading up to the financial crisis, and buying them when they were cheaper during the downturn.
Offset gains with losses: You may have losses to utilize where you least expected it.That bond fund that has made you money because of reinvested dividends may in-fact have a tax loss.
How so? Simple: Because each and every reinvested dividend increased your tax basis.Take a closer look at these investments and their current basis and consider taking the loss to offset another gain in your portfolio.
(Read more: What you need to know about tax planning)
Conclusion: Always plan ahead for tax issues. When you are done, plan some more.