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Year-end tax tips

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Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 12:00 am

With 2010 just around the corner, making more money and saving as much as possible will likely top many New Year's resolution lists. To help achieve this resolution, here are our Top 5 Year-End Tax Tips.

Get Smart About 2009 Tax Changes: 2009 heralded a range of new 'pro-taxpayer credits', including the First-Time Homebuyer Credit and the Making Work Pay Credit. In addition, two credits relating to energy saving home improvements were expanded (the non-business Energy Property Credit & the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit).

Make Advance Payments: Pre-paying expenses for college tuition, a mortgage or a quarterly state estimated tax payment now - rather than waiting until January - allows you to include these deductions on your 2009 tax return.

Help Others - and Yourself: As the year comes to a close, many people make donations to a favorite charity. Keep good documentation when donating non-cash items, given that "fair market value" of these may be deductible.

Job-Related Benefits: Most flexible spending or health savings programs require funds to be used by December 31 of each year and cannot be rolled over. Make sure to use the pre-tax money for approved expenses before year-end.

Taxes Paid for New Car: If you made a new car purchase after February 16, 2009, don't forget that you can deduct state sales tax, as long as you're the original owner.

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