Last minute tax bargains!

Nov. 26, 2012 – TaxTalk Blog

As far as seasons go, autumn in Indiana has a lot to offer: the arrival of frosty nights and brisk mornings; trees displaying various shades of jaundice or embarrassment; the first snow of the season. Time to harvest the last of what has been sown, and maybe plant some winter wheat while you’re at it. Time to bring in the rewards of hard work.

And with tax season just a few short weeks away, this is also the time of year when many people do some last-minute financial “harvesting,” to stretch their tax dollars. Here are a few ways you can, too:

Winterize your house (and go green) – If you want to reduce your energy use and get a state tax break, check out the state’s insulation deduction – up to $1,000. Note that this deduction is not just for the pink stuff that goes in your attic. It includes weather stripping, storm windows, storm doors, even caulking. Just make sure to get all the work done by the end of the year, and keep those receipts. For more details, read Information Bulletin #43

Save for college – You can make this the year to “get credit” for saving for a loved-one’s college tuition. With the CollegeChoice 529 education savings plan, you get a 20-percent state credit (up to $1,000) for contributions made this year. Visit the plan administrator’s site at and read Information Bulletin #98 for details.

Make a donation to higher education – With this one, you may get a state credit and a deduction on your federal tax return. If you are in the giving mood and want to support the Indiana college of your choice, making a contribution could net you up to a $100 or $200 credit when you file your state tax return. Contributions to your favorite Indiana college can include not only cash, but stuff – like a rare book, a painting or even a piece of land. Plus, you get an even bigger bang for your college-contribution buck if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return. Just make sure to keep your receipt/letter from the institution. Read Information Bulletin #14 for particulars about the state credit, and get information about claiming itemized deductions from the IRS.

For those of you looking for last-minute ideas on how to get your “tax house” in order as the year closes out, consider these ideas. These are great ways to harvest the last of the financial pickings of the tax year.

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