Consumer Watch: Last minute tax help

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on April 11, 2013 at 4:32 PM

(WHAS11) -- Tax day is one week away. Maybe you've already spent your refund or maybe you haven't even started, but for all the procrastinators out there, Good Morning Kentuckiana’s Andy Treinen has today’s Consumer Watch.

You can't hide from the calendar any longer. April 15 is almost here, so dig out your calculator, it's time to do your taxes.

If you're still looking for deductions, start with your house. State and local property taxes, mortgage insurance and mortgage interest are some of the most common deductions.

A home office can also be deducted if it's really a home office. "So if you just decide that you want to work from home on a Friday, for example, you won't be able to deduct those expenses as a home office," said the managing partner of CBIZ MHM, Gary Duboff. What you can't deduct is any loss you suffered selling your home. "Unfortunately, you can't deduct the loss on a sale or a personal residence, however, the IRS would want to tax the gain," continued Duboff.

Also, take into account any higher education costs or job-hunting expenses. Charitable donations and contributions to a tax-deductible IRA are also fair game.

And, consider medical expenses you paid in 2012. If the amounts are large, you might want to consult a tax professional.

Your return and payment should be mailed together and must be postmarked by April 15. For the quickest return file electronically and opt for direct deposit.

If you owe money but can't afford to pay, you should still file. Send what you can and work out a payment plan for the rest. The penalties for not filing are much higher than not paying. 

There are a number of tax-prep services available at little or no cost to those who qualify.  For more information, check out the IRS's website

 

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