12 Year-End Tax Tips: Credits, Breaks
Before you prepare and e-file your 2021 federal and state Tax Return on eFile.com, you may want to ask yourself this question:
"How can I save money on my taxes?"
Here are three simple ways you can save money and reduce your taxes:
- Spend less money on everyday purchases throughout the year. Use our simple day-to-day money saving tips for frugal living and maximize your monthly budgets!
- Update your paycheck withholding on your federal Form W-4 and receive your tax refund money now or owe less tax when you file your next tax return. Use the free eFile.com Tax Withholding Assessment Tool to find out how much tax to withhold and reach your tax goals!
- Claim tax breaks you qualify for on your tax return by December 31, such as tax credits and tax deductions.
Tax To-Do's By December 31
You can eFile your 2021 Tax Return beginning in January 2022. It is important to consider which tax credits and tax deductions you can claim on your 2021 Tax Return before 2021 ends. For example, if you have a child born on January 1, 2022 or after, you cannot claim the Child Tax Credit on your 2021 Tax Return; you would have to wait until the beginning of 2023 to claim the credit on your 2022 Tax Return.
Here are 12 Tax Tips to get you prepared for Tax Day:
A Flexible Spending Account or FSA can be used to pay for certain medical expenses
or dependent care
. If you do not use all the money in your FSA by the end of 2021, you are only able to roll over or carry forward up to $550 into 2022.
By the end of the year, finalize any trades or sales of stocks or assets you may hold. Consider the pros and cons of long-term and short-term investments, capital gains or losses, and the taxes of each category - details on the linked page. Sell any stocks that may be beneficial to sell by the end of 2021 and keep those which would yield more benefit in the long run. You may be able to sell investments at a loss in order to offset your taxable gains. See details on cryptocurrencies and NFTs
If you are self-employed
, purchase any assets you plan to deduct on your 2021 Taxes by the end of the year. Any business purchases completed in 2022 do not qualify and will be deducted when you file your 2022 Taxes in 2023. Finish these transactions and keep receipts so you can report the money spent on your taxes. eFile.com will help you report these and also claim the Qualified Business Income Deduction (QBI)
To get an idea of what your return may look like, we recommend using the linked calculator to see how your taxes may be figured when you file in 2022. You can use estimated figures or actual numbers from your tax forms when using the calculator to see various results.
Here's something else to consider: the values for each tax credit or tax deduction often vary by tax year. Once the value of a credit or deduction for a tax year expires (let's say 2016), you can only claim that value on a 2016 Tax Return; you cannot claim 2016 values on a 2021 Tax Return.
This is why we strongly recommend tax return planning throughout the year in order to take advantage of as many tax credits and deductions you qualify for by the end of the year.
Avoid Surprises by using the eFile.com Tax Calculator and Tax Refund Estimator!
2021 Tax Calculators and Tools
2021 Tax Credits and Deductions
Review all the tax credits and tax deductions you may qualify to claim on your 2021 Tax Return. Tax credits reduce your tax dollar-for-dollar and may even be refunded to you as a tax refund. Popular tax credits include the Child Tax Credit, the Premium Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. There are varying thresholds which may affect the amount of the credit as well as whether or not you qualify to claim it. The eFile Tax App will determine if you qualify for these credits when you prepare your taxes, calculate the amount, and report it on the proper tax forms when you file.
Tax deductions work differently by deducting certain expenses or taxes from your taxable income. One of the more common tax deductions is contributions to traditional individual retirement accounts. This deduction reduces your taxable income by some or all of your contributions. Using eFile.com to prepare your taxes will allow the software to calculate deductions like this on your return for you.
Tax credits, deductions, breaks, or write-offs change each year as the tax code is updated. There are many tax breaks that are officially expired. This means that under current law, none of these credits and deductions are available to claim on 2021 Tax Returns. Our expired tax laws page provides details on these tax breaks.
We will update our site with the latest information on tax breaks as soon as any official announcements are made. Stay up to date on the latest tax law changes and news with eFile.com!
Tax Help for January 2022
When can you file 2021 Taxes? How to maximize my 2021 Refund?
See the items in the table below to get a better understanding of the 2022 Filing Season for 2021 Taxes to get the most out of your return.
End of January
By this point, you should have received your tax forms and other statements as employers and other issuers are required to send these by the end of January. Depending on your situation, this may include other forms or letters, such as:
Begin preparing your taxes on your eFile account
if you have not already. Use all the forms you have received and other documents from your records to be sure the information you enter is accurate and let the eFile Tax App handle the calculations. If possible, be sure you have a trusted bank account established that you know will not be closing or changing for your tax refund
. This will allow the IRS to directly deposit this instead of mailing a check in the mail.
Once you have sent your returns to the IRS and state and they have been accepted, track your tax refund
or verify that your payment has been processed by checking your bank account or IRS account.
More Tax Planning and Help
TurboTax® is a registered trademark of Intuit, Inc.
H&R Block® is a registered trademark of HRB Innovations, Inc.