1.Review your paycheck and change your payroll taxes on your payroll check. If you had a good refund in your 2011 tax return, you may increase your exemptions. Ask your payroll administrator to give you a new W-4 and increase your exemptions. This way, you will be taking home more money through out the year instead of getting your refund all at once.
2. If you owed taxes, decrease your exemptions on the W-4 form. You will have a smaller paycheck but no surprises at the end of year with taxes due to pay.
3. Store your Tax Return and all your tax documents in a safe place. Keep your current tax documents for 2012 in one folder and make sure everybody in your family does the same. This will save you a lot of time for your next tax return filing.
4. Contact your tax professional before the end of the year and ask questions. Learn about the itemized deductions and try to plan ahead for 2012. Sometimes, you may be able to pay both portions of your property taxes in the same year and use that deduction for that year.
5. The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which offsets higher education expenses, is set to expire after 2012. It may be beneficial to pay 2013 tuition in 2012 to take full advantage of this tax credit, up to $2,500, before it expires. For more information, see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.