There is still time to contribute to your retirement funds and lower your taxable income

Looking to maximize your tax refund?  Or pay less money to Uncle Sam?

Financial planners offer these tips:

- Contribute to a pre-existing Health Savings Account.  The limits are $3,050 for single payers, $6,150 for families, and an extra $1,000  for those age 55 or older by the end of 2011.

- Contribute to a retirement plan -- Roth IRA, Sep-IRA, or a traditional IRA.  You can contribute up to $5,000.  If you are 50-years-old or older you can contribute up to $6,000.

- Change your 2011 Roth IRA conversions.

- Decide who will claim your children.  Give the exemption to the family member who will benefit the most.

- Consider claiming an elderly parent as a dependent.  The IRS will give you the green light if you pay for more than half of their living expenses, even if they don't live with you.

- If you spend more than 7.5 percent of your income on healthcare, you can deduct that too.  Premiums don't count.   Consult an adviser if you are a sole proprietor.

For more information, head to:

For a list of changes from 2010 to 2011, head to:,,id=251837,00.html

For more on the Fresh Start Program, head to:,,id=254862,00.html?portlet=108

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