H&R Block has compiled a list of end-of-year tips to help maximize your tax returns this spring.
But don’t wait on it – there are only three days left in 2011 to make it count!
- Make charitable donations: To be tax-deductible, doantions must be made to qualified, tax-exempt organizations and claimed as itemized deductions on tax returns.
- Offset capital gains with capital losses: Those with a large net capital gain in 2011 could reduce their tax liability by selling stock before Dec. 31 if it would generate a loss. Capital losses don’t just offset capital gains. If capital losses exceed capital gains, up to $3,000 of capital losses can be used to offset ordinary income, such as wages.
- Pay it forward: Those who haven’t taken full advantage of the American Opportunity Credit should consider paying spring college tuition before Dec. 31 to benefit from the tax break on their 2011 returns.
- Go green at home: Home energy-efficiency improvements are eligible for a tax credit of 10 percent of the cost, with a $500 lifetime maximum. This includes windows and doors, insulation, roofing, HVAC and non-solar water heaters meeting specific energy guidelines.
- Claim casualty losses from disaster: Taxpayers in a federal disaster area who sustained disaster-related casualty losses can claim their losses on a tax return for the year the disaster occurred or on the prior year’s return.