Last minute tax tips from Northland accountants

By KBJR News 1

December 27, 2013 Updated Dec 27, 2013 at 11:01 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Accountants in the Northland say there are still a few things people can do to improve their 2013 tax situation.

"It's not too late to get a check out to your favorite charity and be able to reap that deduction," said James Hacking, CPA at James R Hacking LTD. in downtown Duluth.

Hacking says those who donate to charities before the years end can see a savings since qualified charitable contributions are deductible.

"If they give $1,000 to a charity, they'll save $310 in taxes... so it's really only costing them $690 to make that $1,000 contribution, because the federal government is funding a good portion of that."

Accountants say it's important to remember to provide documentation for these types of transactions...

"If you gave money to a charity or to somebody on the internet or whatever, and it's tax deductible, it's a legitimate organization, get a receipt," said Duluth accountant Stephen Arkulary.

... especially for any cash payments over $250, as a requirement by the IRS, in case of being audited.

"The other thing people can look at doing is grouping their medical bills," said Hacking.

Grouping together medical bills before the year is up can help individuals by getting over the threshold of getting a deduction.

"There are so many twists and turns this year that weren't in the tax codes before," said Arkulary.

...which is why many accountants in the Northland recommend using professional help, to make sure you save as much money as possible.

Accountants also say people can make additional mortgage payments before years end to gain more in interest.

Elsa Robins