Last minute tips to lower your 2014 tax bill

Last minute tips to lower your 2014 tax bill

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The New Year may be about hours away, believe it or not, it is not too late to lower your tax bill for 2014.

First make your big ticketed purchases now.

Congress recently extended tax breaks that will expire Dec. 31, which enables you to deduct state and local sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes.

Also, use the money in your flexible spending account before you lose it.

"Figuring it's this close to the end, I would try to use up everything that is in my flexible spending account. Make sure to go get those extra glasses, those prescriptions, use up everything so I'm not having to worry about it coming back to me later," explains H&R Block Client Service Leader, Sonja Giles.

Get health insurance.

The Affordable Care Act requires every person to have health insurance in 2014 or face a maximum penalty of $285 or up to 1 percent of your annual household income.

"Make sure I have my health insurance in place because that is going to be something huge this year. We don't want to worry about getting penalties, but there are certain things you can do at this late date to be exempt from that," says Giles.

Be sure to take advantage of the recently extended tuition and fees deduction.

Pay for your first quarter by Dec. 31 and you could qualify for tax credits or deductions if you pay directly to the institution.

It is also not too late to donate to charity. Donations to qualified charities may be tax deductible id submitted before Dec. 31.

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