MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In the midst of the holidays, taxes are likely the last thing on the minds of most people.
But maybe they shouldn’t be.
From selling a car to buying energy-efficient windows, there are ways to get money back before 2013 comes to an end.
And there may be a few extra tax deductions that most people don’t even know about, according to Jeff Bergerson of Bergerson Tax Services in St. Paul. The Energy Efficient Credit is a major one.
“Often times, people know about it but they don’t know what’s included in it,” Bergerson said.
He says 2013 is the last year it’s offered, and homeowners who remodel can take a credit of up to $500 for a new, energy-efficient air conditioner or furnace.
Insulation, windows and doors also count, but that’s only if the credit hasn’t been used before.
“What people don’t realize is that once they’ve taken the credit, they can’t take it again in 2013,” he said.
People who were searching for a job in 2013 may also be in for a tax break.
“To post your resume, if you have to pay, that’s deductible,” Bergerson said. “Or printing supplies as far as resumes go, or travel to and from interviews.”
People who use their vehicles for work can deduct mileage or other expenses.
And cars donated before the end of the year will earn taxpayers a deduction for the amount the charity makes from the sale. If they take it for parts, the donator gets fair-market value.
Bergerson says the key is to plan ahead and keep those receipts.
“Document what you’ve given, so if you’re donating goods to a charity, take pictures. They have estimates on the SalvationArmy.com or Goodwill as to what the fair-market value is of this stuff,” he said. “And document it, list it out. And often times, people short change themselves.”
Some medical expenses can be written off as well, so Bergerson recommends keeping receipts for those, too.
Also, the method of filing matters a lot.
Bergerson says married couples should figure out if they want to file jointly or separately, because some factors could make one of those filing options more beneficial than the other.
And some single filers may qualify for “head of household status,” which is also a nice tax break.