Tax Deadline

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COLUMBIA - Wanna save money on your taxes? December 31, 2011 is the last day you can make contributions to charities or make big ticket item purchases. Tax season is less than two weeks away. You can begin to e-file your taxes as early as January 13, 2012.

Businesses who make those big purchases, like work trucks, can receive deductions.

The Internal Revenue Service website says people can get reductions on a home office, job search expenses, legal fees related to keeping your job, and fees related to tax preparation.

Your job can even be a possible deduction. Denise Nelson of Accounting Plus says, "The income tax credit is income based. Let's say a single parent with two kids make under $12,000 a year. For example, they don't owe a tax often time, and so anything they had withheld on their paycheck, they would get that back."

There is some good and bad news for those who were hit by the recession. Businesses that report losses will pay less, but people who collect unemployment will still be taxed. Experts point out that the unemployment payments are a type of income, so they're taxable.

 In Columbia alone, there are 517 tax exempt organizations, charities, and churches.To make sure your donations get tax exemptions, you should check the IRS website's list of non-profit agencies.

Some charities can even help you get up to 50 percent back on charitable donations. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cental Missouri is one of those charities. Georgalu Swoboda, Executive DIrector of Big Brothers Big Sisters, explained it like this, "So it's very simple. A gift of 100 dollars and above will enable anybody that pays Missouri taxes, to cut that amount, 50 percent of that off of their taxes."

The last day to file taxes is April 17, 2012. It is usually the 15th, but since the 15th falls on a weekend, and Monday the 16th is a holiday after, tax day falls on that Tuesday.