Going, going … a number of tax deductions set to expire

Thursday, December 12, 2013
By Paul Martin

By: Kelley Holland
CNBC.com
Thursday, 12 Dec 2013

Ready for year-end tax planning? In between holiday parties and last-minute shopping, it’s worth making sure that you are minimizing your 2013 tax bill.

It’s almost always wise to maximize your deductions, prune losers from your portfolio and fill your retirement accounts as much as the rules allow.

But this year is also your last chance to use a large number of tax breaks that are scheduled to expire. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, dozens of these provisions are about to go away.

“The extender provisions that have gone out are the one thing I would tell mainstream taxpayers to watch out for,” said Mark Steber, chief tax officer at Jackson Hewitt. “Every one of those touches somebody down the line.”

Among the more popular disappearing breaks is the deduction for tuition and fees. Until the end of the year, couples with less than $160,000 in adjusted gross income can take a deduction if they are paying qualified higher education expenses for a dependent. The deduction, which can reach $4,000 for those with income below $130,000, will be gone in 2014.

“That’s a huge amount for lower-income people,” said Cathy Curtis, owner of Curtis Financial Planning in Oakland, Calif.

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