Our weekly roundup of tax-related investment strategies and news your clients may be thinking about.

You may still be able to cut last year’s tax bill

Clients may still reduce last year's tax bill before the extended filing deadline of Oct. 15 for 2013 tax returns, according to MarketWatch. Deducting medical expenses and sales taxes from major purchases last year could be done to further reduce one's tax bill, while another is to establish a simplified employee pension in the absence of a tax-favored retirement plan. In the case of a non-favorable Roth conversion made last year, clients may reverse the conversion to avoid paying higher taxes for the supposed value of a plan that technically no longer exists.  -- MarketWatch

The error-proof portfolio: A manager-change checklist

In light of Bill Gross’s departure from PIMCO, investors who have to decide on what to do with their investments after a manager change should pose the right questions to ensure they avoid any mistake, according to Morningstar. They should ask if selling or buying would result in transaction costs, if there will be capital gains taxes, and if the fund is actively managed or tracks an index. Investors should also know if the fund is tightly constrained or more free-ranging and if the successor has a very good management record. -- Morningstar

Get a Tax-Smart Plan for In-Retirement Withdrawals

Consider these strategies to stretch out your tax savings during your retirement years. -- Morningstar

Planning for retirement with tax diversification

Most people think of asset allocation as a diversification of asset classes, such as large cap stocks, small cap stocks and bonds. But diversifying assets by taxability can also be important in building a successful financial planning strategy to last you through your working years and into retirement. -- Westfair Online

Banks Move to Cut Hedge Funds Dividend Taxes under Probe

Dividend arbitrage – a trading strategy undertaken by big banks to aid hedge funds and other clients in reducing taxes – has drawn criticism from U.S. authorities. The banks earn over $1 billion in revenues in a year through this strategy. -- Zacks.com

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