Getting a handle on 2008 year-end tax planning is especially challenging this year because of several areas of uncertainty.

Are traditional income/deduction timing techniques dwarfed by the current economic turmoil that dictates its own timetable? Will 2008 be the last year in which many existing tax breaks will be available, given any new administration's historic tendency to enact big tax bills during its first year in office? Will "must-pass" legislation pending as this article goes to press actually pass and extend a handful of important tax breaks, including an Alternative Minimum Tax patch? Is another economic stimulus package in the wings, or should 2008-only benefits be grabbed before they expire?

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