CHICAGO, Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hit pause on the holiday hustle to consider wise year-end tax moves that could keep more money in your pocket next year. The Illinois CPA Society suggests reviewing commonly overlooked ways to save and position yourself to receive the best income tax return possible in 2012:
Make Charitable Donations – If you itemize, charitable donations like monetary gifts, the value of materials or food donations, and even the out-of-pocket expenses you incur while volunteering, are deductible on your 2012 return. With any donations, get receipts for documentation.
Pay Bills Early - For example, if you pay your January 2013 mortgage bill on or before December 31, you may deduct an extra month of interest in 2012.
Contribute to Retirement Plans – A contribution to your 401(k) plan is pre-tax money and is excluded from your income, which lowers your tax bill. For 2012, you can contribute up to $17,000 to a 401(k) plan ($22,500 if you're 50 or older) tax-free.
Give Big Gifts – If you're in a position to give, you can gift anyone up to $13,000 before it's taxable. For kids or grandkids, you may consider starting a 529 College Savings Plan, which also allows up to a $13,000 contribution tax-free annually.
Maximize Deductions – If you relocated for work this year, your moving expenses may qualify for a deduction. Some job-hunting expenses, like making copies of your resume, are also deductible. More information on deductions is available at www.irs.gov.
Working with a CPA can help you make sense of it all and maximize all the deductions and credits you're entitled to receive. The Illinois CPA Society's online "Find a CPA" Directory at www.icpas.org can help you find a knowledgeable CPA in your area who can guide you through financial decisions this tax season and beyond.
About the Illinois CPA Society
The Illinois CPA Society, founded in 1903, is the fourth largest state CPA Society in the nation, with more than 24,000 members. It is the premier professional organization that represents CPAs in Illinois. During its over 100 years of existence, the Society has advanced the highest ethical and financial standards of the profession, and has been a leader in educating the public on financial issues.
SOURCE Illinois CPA Society