Hurry! 2014 tax deductions to make before the year's over - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hurry! 2014 tax deductions to make before the year's over

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By Sharon Epperson, CNBC

(CNBC) - It's still not too late to make smart money choices in 2014. CNBC's senior personal finance expert Sharon Epperson on TODAY Monday shared five tips that could save you a bundle come tax time.

1. Expensive items: Make big ticket purchases now

If you anticipate a big purchase in the near future, buy it now. Congress recently extended tax breaks that will expire on Dec. 31, which enables you to deduct state and local sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes. This is especially helpful for places that don't have sales tax, such as Texas or Florida. Just remember to save your receipts!

2. Pre-pay part of your 2015 college tuition

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. Reduce the amount of your income that is subject to taxes by keeping track of education-related expenses such as supplies, materials, books and more.

3. Flexible spending account: Use it before you lose it!

Time is ticking to use the money in your flexible spending account if it doesn't carry over into the new year. If you contributed toward your FSA, make sure you know your employer's rules for when it expires.

4. Buy a car or truck for your business

If you're considering buying a car or truck for your business in the first quarter, there's no need to wait. You may be able to write off the purchase if it's in service before the end of the year.

5. Donate to charity

If charitable donations have slipped your mind earlier this year, now is the time to do it. Besides making you feel great, contributions to qualified charities may be tax deductible if submitted before Dec. 31. Select check is a reliable tool from the IRS to verify eligible organizations.
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