Tax Tasks to Wrap Up Before the End of 2009

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Posted on 11/25/2009

While your mind may be on turkey, this is actually a good time to think about taxes. With only a handful of weeks remaining in 2009 there are a few tax tasks to wrap up before the end of the year. Making some key year-end money moves will ensure tax season is much less stressful. And that’s something you can really be thankful for.


Estimate Your Taxes - Don’t let Uncle Sam surprise you come April. Pull out your latest pay stubs and cross check them with your 2008 tax return. Make sure your earnings and withholdings will be pretty much the same. That way you can be sure you won’t face a big tax bill next year. And if it looks like you may owe more than you thought, you still have time to make some moves that will ease the situation.


Make Donations - Making a charitable donation is a great way to help others while also benefiting from a tax deduction. Look back on how much you’ve given throughout 2009. Does it meet your giving goals? You may want to consider an additional donation before the end of the year.


Add to Your IRA - It might be a good idea to add extra money into your IRA by the end of the year. While this can be done into 2010 and still count for 2009, the sooner you do it, the quicker you’ll start gaining wealth for retirement. Whatever you add to your IRA you’ll be allowed to subtract from your income. When you have a lower adjustable gross income you may not have to pay as much tax.


Contribute to Your Health Savings Account - Money you add to your Health Savings Account (HAS) can also be used to lower your adjusted gross income which makes this another good year-end money move. For a list of what types of medical expenses you can use your HSA for, visit IRS.gov to review Publication 502.


Give Your Finances a Review - Take a little time to do a financial check-up. Review your investments, your budget and your outstanding debt. Look for areas where you can improve in 2010 and celebrate the successes of 2009.


By Alison Storm


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