- Days left

There's still time to create deductible expenses for 2007

Put away the noisemakers! It isn't the new year yet. And you're probably searching around the net thinking, how can I decrease my tax burden before the year expires?

If you're on the West Coast like me, you may still have time to use up your health care flexible spending account by going to an enterprising optometrist, dentist, or chiropracter. If you've spent more than (or very, very close to) 7.5% of your gross income in health care expenses this year -- which is a LOT of health care expenses, by the way -- you might want to pay a couple more bills to take advantage of those expenditures.

The easiest way to create deductions in the last few hours of the year is, of course, charity. Give until you can't give any more, and most charitable institutions allow you to use your credit or debit cards to pay online, and it will count for 2007, right up until midnight. If you must send money to your church, community food bank, or other small non-credit-accepting institution, run! Bike! Drive! (careful! It's a party night!) to the nearest post office that postmarks until midnight, and stick a check in the mail.

Finally, if you're self-employed or have a small business whose expenses you write off on your taxes, and you use the cash method of accounting, now is the time to pile on those profit-reducing costs! I make a small income photographing knitting and designing knitting patterns, so I have been struck with the unavoidable compunction to go buy yarn for my next creation. If you don't have any shops nearby open, turn again to the web. Do you need books? Amazon.com's still open. Paper? Ink for your printer? You get the idea.

Note that small incomes like mine are only considered self-employment if you make a profit in one out of every three years. Otherwise, it's a non-deductible hobby.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

How to Avoid Financial Scams

Avoid getting duped by financial scams.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

11 Fun Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

There are plenty of practical ways to spend your tax refund ? such as saving for major expenses, banking it as the start of an emergency fund or paying down debt. But it?s hard to resist the allure of spending some or all of your refund on something a little more fun. If that?s the road you want to go down, here are some ways suggestions.

A Tax Filing Factsheet for eBay Sellers

You can find almost anything for sale on eBay, from a piece of fine art to clippings of Justin Bieber?s hair. So it's no surprise that the IRS doesn't view all sellers alike in the online marketplace. You may not have to pay tax at all if you are essentially hosting an online garage sale, but if you run your eBay account more like a business, you should be reporting your sales to the IRS.

Tax Tips for Handymen and Odd Jobs

If you work as a handyman or do odd jobs around town for money, you are operating a business in the eyes of the IRS. Since you own your own business, you're likely a self-employed sole proprietor. This means you'll have lots of potential tax deductions to investigate.

Identity Theft: 7 Steps to Reclaiming Your Identity and Keeping it Safe

As more personal information continues to be stored online, the risk of identity theft also increases. In 2014 alone, the Bureau of Justice reported that 17.6 million U.S. residents experienced identity theft. If someone uses your personal data pretending to be you, it's a serious crime. With quick, decisive action, you can help discover the fraud, stop further damage and reclaim your identity. Here are six steps to get you on your way.