It’s November. Thanksgiving is next week. Taxes aren’t due until April. It’s still a good idea to plan ahead.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service issued guidance last Friday talking about the saver’s tax credit. If you are single and earn $26,000 or less, or married filing jointly and earn up to $52,000, this could affect you. If you were a student in 2007 for more than five months of the year you don’t get to claim this tax credit.
Here’s how it works: you can claim up to $1,000 if single and $2,000 if married and you contributed to a retirement account. Eligible accounts include 401(k), 403(b), 457 plans and Thrift Savings Plans. Which account you can have depends on where you work. Large and small businesses may have 401(k)s; schools offer 403(b) plans; states offer 457s; federal employers have thrift plans. Contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are also eligible.
You have until tax day, April 15, 2008, to contribute to a retirement account. If you start now you can save more by tax day.
Living on a low to moderate income may take creativity. If you take the saver’s credit you can reduce your taxable income by almost $1,000. The IRS says it’s often less than this, citing averages of $216 for married filers, $149 for heads of household and $140 for single filers. Still, every little bit helps, right?
For more information check out the IRS Web site: www.irs.gov/. You can also look at publication 590 on IRAs.
Something else you may want to look into: how you’re going to do your taxes. You can go to a service like H&R Block or hire an accountant. You can also purchase tax software, which may be your cheapest option next to doing it by hand. The nice thing about tax software and accountants is that they know all the tax credits and can figure out which ones you qualify for. These credits can ultimately reduce how much tax you owe.
If you look into this now, and perhaps get prepared to file earlier than the deadline, you could also see your refund sooner.
Nov. 14, 2007.