Last-Minute Tax Tips For 2013

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(Memphis)  It's hard to think about tax season during the holiday season, but putting yourself in a better position for 2014 may mean taking some last-minute steps in 2013.

There are several tax credits and deductions set to expire this year, so taking advantage of them now means saving money later.

A big one taxpayers will lose is the sales tax deduction.

CPA Greg Pohlman says if you're planning on making a big ticket purchase next year, do it now instead.

"If you want to buy a car in the next couple of months, it might be a good time to buy it before the end of the year because the sales tax deduction you can take in 2013, you cannot take in 2014," said Pohlman of Scott & Pohlman P.C., Certified Public Accountants.

Also set to expire are the educators expense deduction and the tax credit for energy efficient home improvements.

Other steps taxpayers can take before the end of year include:

  • Putting additional money into retirement accounts
  • Paying next year's property taxes
  • Making charitable contributions.

Small business owners can make purchases to accelerate their expenses.

Also, despite new, government changes for carry over in flexible spending accounts, not every company is participating, so for some folks it's still use it or lose it.

Pohlman said, "That money if you're not aware needs to be spent before the end of the year so make sure you do that or you will lose that."

Congress could of course vote to extend any of these credits or deductions.