Tax Planning for 2013

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420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – It is very difficult to talk about money two days before Christmas but I am going to try.

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society and they will always be here. So let’s try to get some deductions for this year.

If you pay estimated taxes they are due on January 15th next year. But you can prepay your Massachusetts estimated taxes this week and get the deduction for this year. But if you got caught in the AMT last year check with your accountant before paying them early.

It’s not too late to make a donation to your favorite charity. You can write them out a check or give them your credit card number and either way you’ll get the deduction for this year. Use a credit card with frequent flyer miles or a rebate program. You’ll be rewarded for doing a good thing.

If you have this week off think about cleaning out closets or the attic. Get some packing boxes and start getting rid of the stuff that is cluttering up your house.

We have a policy if we get something new, something old has to go to make room for it. So the Goodwill always gets lots of good stuff the week after Christmas.

Make a trip to the Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Get it there this year and the deduction will be for this year. Remember to get a receipt and be reasonable with the estimated value of the items you are dropping off.

IRS regs state that you can no longer claim deductions for used clothing and household goods that are not in “good” condition or better. It should be clean, no holes, not smelly and not needing repair. And it should be something the charities can sell in their stores. If you wouldn’t give it to a friend don’t give it to the charities! Just pitch it.

Use the Goodwill’s or Salvation Army’s website to get a list of suggested deduction amounts.

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