Last minute tax bargains!

Dec. 2, 2011 – TaxTalk Blog

It’s fall. The frost on my car window this morning was proof of that. But if I needed more evidence, all I have to do is drive through a rural area and see the fields – the end of harvest time in Indiana is nearing. Time to reap the last of what has been sown. Time to bring in the rewards of hard work.

And with tax season just a few short weeks away, this is also the time of year when many people do some last-minute financial “harvesting,” to stretch their tax dollars. Here are a few ways you can, too:

Winterize your house (and go green) – If you want to reduce your energy use and get a state tax break, check out the state’s insulation deduction – up to $1,000. And, hey, this deduction is not just for the pink stuff that goes in your attic. It includes weather stripping, storm windows, storm doors, even caulking. Just make sure to get all the work done by the end of the year, and keep those receipts. For more details, read Information Bulletin #43

Save for college – Let this year be the year that you “get credit” for saving for a loved-one’s college tuition. With the CollegeChoice 529 education savings plan, you get a 20-percent state credit (up to $1,000) for contributions made this year. Visit the plan administrator’s site at and read Information Bulletin #98 for details.

Make a donation to education – With this one, you may get a state credit and a deduction on your federal return. Here’s how it works: If you are in the giving mood and want to support the Indiana college of your choice, making a contribution could net you up to a $100 or $200 credit when you file your state tax return. Contributions to your favorite Indiana college can include not only cash, but stuff – like a rare book, a painting or even a piece of land. Plus, you get an even bigger bang for your college contribution buck if you itemize deductions on your federal tax return. Just make sure to keep your receipt/letter from the institution. Read Information Bulletin #14 for particulars about the state credit, and get information about claiming itemized deductions from the IRS.

For those of you looking for last-minute ideas on how to get your “tax” house in order as the year closes out, consider these ideas. These are great ways to legitimately harvest the last financial pickings of the tax year.

If you would like to submit a question or topic suggestions, please send them to
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook