For some, the tax refund check is already deposited in the bank or spent. For others who haven't written a check to pay their taxes or those who haven't started to prepare their annual tax returns yet, several local experts have some last-minute tax advice before the April 15 Internal Revenue Service deadline.
Here's what they have to say:
Ken W. Seidel Herbein & Co. Inc., Spring Township
"Make sure that you have both a proof of payment (canceled check) and a receipt, for charitable contributions in excess of $250. Also, the receipt must include language that acknowledges that no goods or services were received in exchange for making the contribution.
"Remember that contributions into 529 educational savings plans may be deductible for state income tax purposes."
Richard A. Kaufman Kaufman Financial Services, Shillington
"Make sure the W-4 you file with your employer has the correct information so you have the proper amount of income tax withheld from your pay.
"If you make quarterly estimated tax payments, make them on time, which may allow you to avoid a penalty."
Michael R. DePaul Jr. Reinsel Kuntz Lesher, Spring Township
"Remember, you can still make retirement contributions that are deductible in 2012 up to the due date of your return, as well as Roth contributions. Make sure they are made by April 15 and are designated as 2012 contributions.
"When planning for 2013, plan on higher taxes, including higher tax rates as well as potential additional taxes created by health care law on wages and investment income.
"Focus on 2013 now. This allows you to avoid surprises next April."
Kate Banta William G. Koch and Associates, Spring Township
"Be diligent about record keeping. Get into the habit of keeping a folder of tax information for return prep (year-end brokerage/bank statements, cancelled checks, final pay stub, etc.) as they come in the mail.
"This folder can be used throughout the year to keep statements of contributions, medical receipts, monthly bank/brokerage statements, etc.
"Protect your Social Security number. Shred documents that show this number and secure your computer."
Merle Dunkelberger ParenteBeard, Spring Township
"Taxpayers should keep in mind that points or loan origination fees paid on the initial purchase of a principal residence are fully deductible in the year paid, while points paid when you refinance must be deducted ratably over the term of the new loan.
"Individual taxpayers have a number of options if they have incurred higher education costs for themselves or their children. In this complicated area of taxation, they should obtain professional guidance."
Denise E. Madeira Main Street Tax & Accounting Services, Bernville
"Retired taxpayers who itemize your deductions: Don't forget to save those receipts for major purchases in 2013. The sales tax that you paid on those items may increase your itemized deductions.
"If you itemize, you may qualify for a medical deduction. In 2013, track your medical miles and all medical expenses such as long term care insurance, health insurance, doctor/dentist expenses, chiropractor, eyeglasses, hearing aids, including batteries, etc."
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