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Tax Break Tips

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EUGENE, Ore. — Tax day is on April 15. It may seem like a long way off, but with a little planning before the end of the year, you could lower your tax bill.

At the end of the year, 55 tax breaks are scheduled to expire. So there are some tips to consider to reap some of the savings.

For homeowners, if your principle residence is foreclosed on or sold in a short sale, before the end of the year. This is the last chance to exclude the forgiven debt from your taxable income.

If you make qualified energy efficient improvements to your home by December 31, there is a lifetime maximum of $500 credit.

“We don’t even need the receipts, we just need the summarized information saying how much you spent on charitable contributions and medical expenses and things like that. Just give us the sum and it helps your tax bill,” says Joseph Lewis with Mischel & Lewis LLP.

When it comes to transportation, employees can spend up to $245 pretax per month on transit benefits that will drop to $130 when it expires. If you’re in the market for a car, consider an electric one. You may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500.

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