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: www.irs.gov
For a list of changes from 2010 to 2011, head to: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=251837,00.html
For more on the Fresh Start Program, head to: http://www.irs.gov/help/article/0,,id=254862,00.html?portlet=108