Many people wait until the last minute to think about tax planning. But procrastination can really cost you. When it comes to harvesting tax losses, it pays to get a jump on the rest of the investing world.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, talks about tax-loss harvesting and why you shouldn't wait to get it done. By selling losing stocks, you can use capital losses to offset any gain as well as up to $3,000 of other types of income, including wages and investment income. Dan notes that most taxpayers wait until the end of the year to lock in tax losses, but doing so beforehand can help you avoid the rush and potentially get better prices for your shares. Dan concludes with some ideas on smart stocks to consider for the strategy, pointing out that while the bull market has sent many stocks higher, Annaly Capital (NYSE:NLY) has suffered steep losses this year on interest rate concerns. Gold stocks Barrick Gold (NYSE:GOLD)Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), and Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) could also be good tax-loss harvesting candidates for relatively new investors.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.