End of year could bring end of tax benefits

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) The end of this year is a looming deadline, as there are some very important deductions set to expire in the next couple of days. If you don't pay attention now, you could find yourself paying more later when you file your taxes.

With the federal deficit problem, some experts are saying there's a good possibility many tax credits and deductions won't be extended. This means as we're winding down to the end of this year, you still have time to make some payments so they can count for the 2011 year.

There are a number of tax benefits set to expire December 31st at midnight:

  • State and local tax deductions, which helps with large purchases.
  • Higher education related fees, you can pay for classes beginning in 2012 now.
  • Teacher expenses, where educators can claim up to $250 in expenses for classroom materials.
  • State and local sales tax deduction
  • Transit benefit parity
  • Higher education tuition deduction
  • Charitable distributions from IRAs
  • Teacher's classroom expense deduction
  • Research tax credit
  • Code Sec. 25C residential energy credit
  • Code Sec. 45L energy efficient home construction credit
  • Biodiesel and renewable diesel incentives
  • Various tax incentives for the District of Columbia

These are just part of the list of benefits expiring in 2011, and there's also a list for the end of 2012 as well. Some Grand Strand CPAs say it's important to take advantage now, before time runs out.

"The big change will come after 2012," said CPA James McIlrath. "So people will want to pay attention this coming year, to be able to make adjustments or do the things they need to do to maximize what they're doing with their taxes in 2012 to take advantage of those deductions while they still exist. "

Even though we will be crossing soon into the new year, congress still has the opportunity to extend some of these deductions. But since their move is uncertain, it's important to take advantage of these deductions while they're still available.

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