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Tax Return Tips


RECEIVE MONEY. DO YOUR TAXES, TAXES, TAXES COMPARE THE TAX PREPARATION FEES USING DIFFERENT COMPANIES. TAKE A LOOK..... SOME EVEN OFFER FREE FEDERAL FILING. TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT H&R BLOCK, THERE ARE TWO FILING OPTIONS. IF YOU'RE A CONDOMINIUM OWNER, DON'T FORGET TO DEDUCT YOUR CONDO OWNERSHIP EXPENSES.

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Keep up on tax law changes. What's new for your tax return filing? A lot. Be sure you're aware of changes made that may affect your tax filing. Among those topics affected are nontaxable combat pay, retirement contribution limits, gift tax exclusions, reduction in itemized deductions and personal exemptions for higher income taxpayers AND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION SIGNED TAX REBATE.

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There are also new tax guidelines regarding sales tax, educator expenses deduction, increased Health Savings Account deductions plus a few others. New credits available include those for energy-efficient vehicles and properties.

Consult a tax professional or visit the Internal Revenue Service's 1040 Central page for a complete list of tax code changes.
Don't fall into the AMT trap
The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is a separate (and unpopular) tax system with its own set of rates and rules for deductions, which usually are less generous than standard ones. Learn all you can about the Alternative Minimum Tax before jumping in.
AMT exemptions and tax brackets are not adjusted for inflation, so if your income has increased within the past year you may fall into the AMT zone. If you are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax help from an expert is advised as the usual tax planning often won't apply.

To find out if you're going to qualify, get form 6251 and make sure that you're in the clear. While there is no specific trigger for this tax, if you pay high state and local taxes or you have a lot of personal exemptions or a high mortgage interest, you'll want to tread more carefully.

It is estimated that more than 30 million people will be stuck paying the AMT.

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Take advantage of tax-exempt accounts. Pay attention to your employer's open-enrollment periods. Take advantage of flexible spending accounts. Flex spend accounts allow you set aside pre-tax money for any medical expenses you incur over the year. This includes expenses like dental bills, over the counter medicine expenses and many other medical expenses.

You'll save $.30 on every dollar using a flexible spending account and there is no set federal limit. If you have children or older parents that you need to take care of, think about investing in a dependant care flex account. The maximum you can contribute is $5,000.

These pre-tax funds can be spent on things like summer programs, babysitting services or caretaker help. You won't pay federal or social security taxes on this money, which is a better deal than a deduction.

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Deduct your home-office
Working from home full or part-time? Claim your home office deductions!
Take note, the IRS's criteria for this deduction are strict as it was once the most abused areas of the tax code. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to get this deduction. You will qualify if you work for yourself and use your home office exclusively for business purposes.
If you work for a company, you can claim the deduction if it's in the convenience of your employer. It's definitely one deduction possibility worth checking into.

If you don't qualify for a home-office deduction, you can still claim expenses associated with a home-based business. Office supplies, installation of telephone and fax lines, home mortgage interest and real estate taxes are expenses allowed as itemized deductions on your tax return even if you can't take a home office deduction according to CCH Tax and Accounting.
For a better sense of what deductions may be worth to you check out this home deduction calculator.

Visit IRS.gov. www.IRS.gov has everything you need to file your taxes. You can instantly download tax forms, research tax code changes - even get help settling any unresolved tax issues from the experts at theTaxpayer Advocate Service.

Condo ownership deductions Don't forget to deduct you condominium expenses.  Especially be sure to deduct your maintenance fees if you qualify.

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