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It’s that time of year again. No, we’re not talking about sleigh bells or the guy with the beard and the sack full of toys. We’re talking about tax time.

With 2017 quickly coming to a close, Uncle Sam is starting to lick his lips when it comes to getting his share. Year-end is especially critical for investors as it brings plenty of pitfalls, challenges and potential headaches.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are ways to reduce your taxes now. And the folks at investment manager BlackRock offer several tips on just how to lower your portfolio taxes before you get that big bill in April. And given that 44% of investors say that taxes are the cost that matters most to them, we might want to listen to their advice.

Paying More

When it comes to investing, it isn’t what you make, but what you keep. Taxes are one of the biggest headaches and expenses we all have to face. And holding on to more of your money for additional compounding and dividends is critical to securing long-term gains. This is why stuffing your IRAs, 401ks and other tax-deferred/tax-free accounts is critical. But for those holding investments in taxable accounts, investors don’t always know what kind of tax bill they are going to face.

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