Year-end tax planning generally never turns out to be the same routine each year. Either the client's circumstances change, or the tax law changes. For 2004, one of the major unexpected developments is the eleventh-hour passage of the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004.

Although expected earlier this year, by early September many practitioners had given up on its passage. Suddenly, Congress approved it on September 23 and added business extender provisions to boot. This new law, together with some remaining twists left over from the 2001 and 2003 tax acts, requires the revision of several year-end tax strategies.

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