|Track your refund||
1. If your attic is stuffed with junk, consider donating to charity. Get a receipt and claim the gift as a deduction.
This will reduce the overall tax bill, but don't be extravagant in valuing your donations. They should be valued
at thrift store/garage sale prices.
2. Many taxpayers don't realize that they can deduct mileage for such charitable activities as delivering meals to
seniors. Money spent on meals associated with charitable volunteer work may be deductible, but consult us
first. Little things like this underscore the need to keep accurate records.
3. Don't overlook valuable credits that might be available to you. If you pay someone to care for your child who's
younger than 13 so that you can work, you might be eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Credit. Another
child related credit the "Child Tax Credit" can save you $1,000 per qualifying child younger than 17. There are
education credits for your dependent children or even yourself. The American Opportunity Credit modified the
Hope Credit in 2009, increasing the savings from $1000 to $2500 and expanding eligibility from the first two
years at college to the first four years. The Lifetime Learning Credit offers up to $1,000. We can help you
determine the appropriate credit for your circumstances.
Additionally, there are State and Federal tax credits for individuals who make certain energy-conscious
improvements to their homes.
4. See whether your employer-sponsored retirement plan permits you to make "catch-up" contributions at the end
of the year if your contribution level to date is less than the maximum allowed.
5. If you believe that your tax bracket next year will be no higher than this year, you're itemizing your deductions,
and you won't be bothered by any alternative minimum tax issues, consider making your state and/or local tax
payments before the end of this year. You're going to owe the money anyway, so if you pay now, you can take
the federal tax deduction this year.
6. Review your capital gains and losses. If you're looking at substantial capital gains on which you'll be taxed in the
coming year, you might be able to sell some stock for a loss, to offset some of the gain.
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