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Act Now to Get a Bigger Tax Refund in 2009
TurboTax Offers Last-Minute Tax Tips
SAN DIEGO – Nov. 18, 2008 – Tax season is just around the corner, but there's still time for taxpayers to help themselves get the biggest refund possible come April 15. TurboTax®, the nation's best-selling, No. 1-rated tax preparation software from Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), offers some easy, year-end tips taxpayers can take advantage of now before it's too late.
Donate to charity: It may be as easy as cleaning out the closet. Donating items to charity before the New Year may help taxpayers who itemize their taxes claim a bigger tax refund. Using software like TurboTax helps taxpayers accurately value donations in accordance with IRS guidelines so there's no need to guess at an item's fair market value. And remember; don't bother donating socks that need darning. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 stipulates that everything must be in "good used condition or better."
Sell losing investments: Selling a losing investment and locking in that tax break is a smart tax strategy. Taking a loss this year may help taxpayers offset income from other gains or income, but that loss is limited to $3,000. Any amount in excess of that must be carried over to their 2009 tax return.
"Many times, people hold onto losing investments, hoping they'll pan out eventually," said Bob Meighan, CPA and vice president of TurboTax. "If the investment is consistently losing money, you're probably better off without it. Take the loss and move on."
Wait to go green: There are substantial tax credits available to taxpayers who make energy saving improvements to their home. But people thinking about adding solar heating or even new windows, doors or insulation that meet energy efficiency standards may want to wait until 2009 to get the most for going green. For taxpayers installing solar electric property at a cost more than $6,667, the credits will be larger for expenses made in 2009 than 2008.
Prepay some bills: Taxpayers can prepay a few of their 2009 bills in 2008, and get to write them off on this year's tax return. Homeowners, for example, can make their January mortgage payment in December, giving them one more month of interest to deduct. Those who have large and predictable medical bills, such as braces for the kids, can consider making all the payments before Dec. 31. The IRS allows families to itemize and deduct medical and dental expenses that exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income.
"It's not too late for people to make a positive impact on their taxes so they can get a bigger refund," said Meighan. "Additionally, some taxpayers who did not qualify for an economic stimulus payment in 2007 are getting a second chance. If you had financial or other life changes in 2008, like losing a job or having a baby, you may be eligible to receive a rebate in 2009."
About Intuit Inc.
Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax®, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit's leading tax preparation offerings for professional accountants. The company's financial institutions division, anchored by Digital Insight, provides on-demand banking services to help banks and credit unions serve businesses and consumers with innovative solutions.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had annual revenue of $3.1 billion in its fiscal year 2008. The company has approximately 8,000 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.
Intuit, the Intuit logo and TurboTax, among others, are registered trademarks and/or registered service marks of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries.