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Consumer
Adjust withholding now for 2011 tax year
MADISON, Wis. (3/30/11)--About 100 million Americans continue to overpay their bills. Their tax bills, that is. They withhold too much and get back about $2,200 on average from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during tax season. For many people, that overpayment is a welcome antidote to holiday overspending or forms the basis of a spring vacation. But it’s also about $200 a month that you are lending the government. Don’t you have better uses for that money than to lend it interest-free to Uncle Sam? The trick is to claim as many allowances as you can, not just exemptions for yourself, your spouse, and your kids. And the IRS has information that will help you get the right number of exemptions. According to Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine (March 7) and AARP (March 9), some 46 million Americans will itemize on their 1040s, claiming nearly $1 trillion worth of deductions. Another 92 million taxpayers will claim about $700 billion worth using standard deductions. Kiplinger and AARP have put together a list of money saving deductions to consider when filing your taxes. Some of these include: state sales taxes … reinvested dividends … charitable contributions … student-loan interest paid by parents … some job-hunting costs … moving expenses to take your first job … health insurance costs for the self-employed … child-care credit … estate tax on income in respect of a decedent … state income tax you paid for 2009 taxes … refinancing points … the American Opportunity Credit (for college tuition if your adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less if single/$160,000 or less if married) … the Making Work Pay credit … credit for energy-saving home improvements …. Combine optimal allowances and maximum deductions, and you won’t be one of those millions of taxpayers paying more than you need to. For more information, read “Seize Tax Refund Opportunity” in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.
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