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Tax time logjam

It is not long until we reach the April 15 income tax filing deadline.

One question facing most taxpayers is whether to set money aside in an individual retirement account and what form it should take.

Those who have opted to put gold and silver into these have to make the same decision everybody else does as to whether they wish to contribute more to them for tax year 2012.

They have until they file their taxes to make up their mind.

Human beings often procrastinate. Rather than fund their IRAs during 2012, they wait until the tax deadline to hurry up and slide in under the deadline.

This last-minute burst of activity can distort markets.

As with all things, if demand for something rises without an offsetting new supply, the price rises. In this case it would be the premium paid for the individual coins.

Paying higher premiums in these last few days before tax filing is not the way to optimize the quantity of bullion that you get for your money over the long term.

If you find yourself wanting or needing to buy bullion at this time of the year, you might make a personal resolution to fund your 2013 contribution to your account as the calendar year progresses and avoid this tax-induced buying logjam.

Premiums after April 15 should move lower, unless of course, a new buying wave engulfs the gold and silver market for external economic reasons.

Any premium reduction will be to your benefit.

If you can find a way to make systematic payments it will free your mind to focus on your daily life rather than be torn back and forth every day.

Of course you might enjoy the drama But that’s another matter.

Most of us need to focus on other concerns on a daily basis and don’t want to find ourselves mulling over headlines.

Banking crisis in Cyprus: Should I buy?

Inconclusive Italian election: Should I buy.

Next crisis here: Should I buy?

You get the idea.

So much about the market is unpredictable, however, the bulge in demand during tax time is not.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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