What end of year tax moves do you need to make?

With the end of the year fast approaching, there’s still a lot of things that need to be done. Have you fully maximized that amount that you could possibly get back from taxes? Here are some items often overlooked:

  1. Charitable contributions. We used to always forget about this for the BF. His work automatically takes out charity deductions out of his paycheck every week, and we used to always forget including this. Which was stupid because he pays around $15-$20 a week!
  2. Student loan interest. I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS remember this, but that’s because I pay so much! Even if your mom or dad pays off your loans for you, you can still claim this if the loan is in your name.
  3. State sales taxes. I would look into this further for information on your own state. But where I live, we cannot claim this, but some others can.
  4. Job hunting costs. If you’re looking for a position in the same line of work that you used to have (cannot be your first job), you can deduct job-hunting costs as miscellaneous expenses if you itemize (only if the total of your miscellaneous itemized deductions exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income). 
  5. State tax paid last tax season. If you owed state taxes for 2010 when you filed in spring of 2011, then don’t forget to include this in your 2011 state tax itemized deduction because you paid it in 2011! I used to never do this, but I finally did this last year.

What do you still have to do? What have I forgotten?

Comments

  1. Live Simply- Live We says

    Ahhhhhh way did you have to bring this up. I am using the tried and true ostrich method, bury my head in the sand and don't think about taxes. We have moved some money around, we have rolled some iras into Roths, so we will owe big time. Uhhhhhhhh don't want to think about it.

  2. Meg {henninglove} says

    thanks for the reminders of all the tax moves to make before Dec 31 comes and goes! you keep me on my spending toes

  3. Michelle P says

    Sorry Live Simply- Live Well, I know it stinks to talkab out this!Meg, I'm glad I keep you on your spending toes!@femme frugality, I just reworded it because I made it a little confusing at first.

  4. Annemarie @ Brunch a says

    Such awesome tips- thank you for sharing. I too didn't know about the student loans. This is great to know! xo

  5. April says

    A few things…finish funding your retirement account (I know you can pay into your IRA and Roth IRA into the coming year for this year but it is less confusing to do it by the end of the year); if you will make over $120k this year, defund your Roth IRA; finish funding any employer-match retirement funds for the year; make any last minute donations (tithing, donations to the Goodwill etc so you can write it off on your taxes); pay tuition if possible (so you can write this off as well); pay any last minute medical and dental expenses (write these off as well).

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