Learn creative ways to save money and create wealth every Thursday on the Evening Report at 6:00pm, by watching Change in Your Pocket.
Tax Breaks for 2011
2011 is drawing to a close, and there isn`t much time left to take advantage of a few tax incentives. This is the time of year when people tend to kind of catch up on write offs if they haven`t made them during the year.
For many people, that means giving money to charity. Others turn their attention to fixing up their house or making it more efficient.
"Some of the new windows and insulation and some of those things are nice because they`re credits, not deductions," said CPA John Power with Power Financial.
There is one contribution at the state level that returns 100 percent. You may have heard of it. It`s called the Housing Incentive Fund.
State Tax Commissioner Cory Fong said, "Of course it helps the taxpayer, but also it`s trying to fill a gap of a very important need that we have in this state, which is to try to encourage people to invest and build housing."
The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is trying to raise $15 million to build more housing in cities where demand remains high. For example, if you give $50 to the fund, you`d receive a $50 credit to use on your state tax return. The state also offers a second reward option for those who give to a qualifying endowment fund, such as a church.
"They receive 40 percent of the contribution as their credit against the state liability, and there`s also a carryover fund feature of three years," explained Fong.
Fong says both programs expire at the end of the calendar year, so you have until the end of the business day Friday to take advantage. Some of the contribution rules can be difficult to understand. So if you get lost, call your CPA for help. You`ll be glad you did come April, which can leave a little more change in your pocket.
Power says one option for homeowners is paying off your real estate tax early. If you itemize, you may save on mortgage interest.