When's the best time to start planning for your 2015 tax return? There's no time like now, said certified financial planner Stacy Francis, president and CEO of Francis Financial.
She recommends four key steps that can help reduce your annual tax burden.
First, be sure to take advantage of any available qualified retirement savings plan at work, such as a 401(k) or 457.
Second, consider tax-loss harvesting. "If there are certain stocks in your portfolio that have had losses and they no longer fit your investment strategy for the long term, it's ideal to sell those to offset some of the areas in your portfolio that have gains," Francis said.