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tax300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 6:36pm.

Tax time is still months away, but preparing to file your taxes now could help your return. Certified public accountant Sharon Blackburn says taking advantage of possible deductions before 2008 is over, could put more money in your pocket in 2009. By itemizing your deductions for your state, property, and real estate taxes, you could receive more benefits in your return. Blackburn said, “You may want to go ahead and accelerate your deductions into 2008 to kind of bunch your expenses into 2008 so you get more of a write off." Blackburn said if you can afford to pay your January mortgage before New Year's Day, you can claim the interest on your tax return for 2008. “If your mortgage is due in the first week of January, you could go ahead and accelerate the deduction into 2008. It's just going to be based on your personal situation." First time home buyers may also be eligible for a tax credit up to $7500, depending on income and price of the home. Homeowners in foreclosure or going through debt forgiveness will no longer have to pay taxes on the property in question. You may also want to consider selling stocks and investments to claim your losses. Most importantly, Blackburn said start organizing your tax paperwork now. "It's better to have everything together. Everything is going to start coming through, your mortgage interest statements, your bank statements. Go ahead and get a separate folder and get everything together, that way it will be less stress when it comes to filing those taxes." Charitable contributions can also be beneficial in beefing up your tax return. Of course, always consult your tax adviser before making any decisions.

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