9OYS Consumer Alert
Tips on how to save on your taxes before the end of the year
Reporter: Justin Schecker
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - With the looming Fiscal Cliff deadline at the end of the month, you may be concerned about how much more you'll owe Uncle Sam.
9 On Your Side spoke with a C.P.A. and tax consultant Michael Flowers about ways you can lower your returns in these final weeks of 2012.
To avoid losing money set aside in your flexible spending account, schedule end-of-the-year doctors appointments or buy new prescription glasses or contact lenses.
Another way to save is by contributing to or opening a qualified retirement plan, such as an I.R.A or 401 K.
Flowers advises small business owners to make major equipment purchases before the end of the year.
"If you're going to buy a large piece of equipment you're better off doing that in 2012 toward the end of the year because it may only be $25,000 you're allowed to expense in 2013," Flowers said.
If you haven't cleaned out your closet in a while, Flowers said now may be the time to do it before the new year.
"If you want to donate to charity you can write a check, you can put it on your credit card or you can physically donate items to charity," Flowers said. "If you physically donate items to charity, then you need to get a receipt and estimate what the fair market value of the gifts are."
Locally, you can you can also take advantage of the Arizona State Tax Credit. If you make your donation before the end of the year, you not only get that money back on your state taxes -- you can claim it on your federal return as well.
For donations to charities that serve the working poor, you can give up to $200 for an individual or $400 per couple. The same limits apply if you are giving to a public school. For private schools, an individual can donate $503 or $1,006 for a couple.
Taxpayers can claim all three of these tax credits.