With the clock ticking toward the end of the year, it’s time to move full steam ahead to put a few more pennies in your piggy bank and wrap up some savings before the clock hits mid-night on December 31st.  Here are some of the easiest tips to get you started.

Tip # 1 General Contributions and Donations

I hit this subject hard in my last Enews to you yet in case you missed it, here’s a synopsis: You can make as many donations as you’d like yet when it comes down to how much you will actually be able to deduct, the rules tell us you can deduct donations in full up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.  You can read the whole story here.

Tip # 2             Contribute to your HSA

If you happen to be a candidate for this option, you have the opportunity now, before December 31, to maximize the contributions that are allowed within your own HSA plan.  This is a great way to stash some non-taxed cash into your account that will be available for you to use as needed next year, and in years to come.

Tip # 3 Ditto for your IRAs and 401K

Every good tax advisor should tell his/her clients about this strategy which allows you the opportunity to contribute to your 401K through your company’s payroll system.   And don’t forget about the ability to convert your IRA to a Roth IRA before the ball drops in NYC. Another option, you can also use your IRA for a Qualified Charitable Distribution to your favorite non-profit.

Tip #4  Pay your 2013 January Bills Now

If you have the financial ability to do so, now is the time to pay your mortgage and property taxes for the month of January, and beyond. As long as your check or on-line transfer is dated before the end of the year, you can use these monies as a tax deduction for 2012.

Tip #5  Ditch the Blanket, Save the Planet

I am not actually suggesting that you crank the heat in the house, yet I am suggesting that you look into making your abode more energy efficient.  Every time I research this subject, it seems like there are more options to help you save money while you help the environment.  This concept behind this is called “Residential Energy Credits” and with a little research, you will probably be able to get a tax credit for new exterior windows, insulation, roofing materials, water heaters and much more.

Tip # 6 Hang up the Mistletoe

If someone in your household has asked Santa for a new Washer and Dryer, or Refrigerator, now is the time to do some serious holiday shopping.  I have seen Energy Credits offered at a variety of levels so do your homework, wrap a ribbon around the gift, and have a holly jolly celebration under the Mistletoe.

Want More Tips?

Contact Mark Robertson, your CPA Consulting and Tax Service Professional, at 775-825-5522.

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