12 On Your Side: Maximizing your tax returns before Jan. 1

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Dec. 19, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There are only days left for taxpayers to maximize their 2011 returns.

Steve Harvey with H&R Block says now is the time for taxpayers to begin going through their paperwork for the upcoming tax season.

"Obviously, the tax season is coming up and most people want to pay the least amount of tax as possible," the district manager said.

Harvey said there are a few last-minute ways for folks to get more money back this year.

"The simple phrase is defer income and accelerate expenses," he recommended.

Here's a few suggestions to accelerate expenses:
-Consider paying your January house payment before the first of the year.
-College students should think about paying for their spring tuition before Jan. 1.
-Don't forget to make all your charitable donations now.

To defer income:
-If you are receiving an end-of-the-year bonus, then ask your employer if he would consider giving you the check after Jan. 1.

Your employer is required to give you your W-2 by Feb. 1. However, some employers now have a way for you to electronically download your W-2, which means you can file and get your refund sooner.

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