Tax Tips

Spending a little time on taxes on Wednesday, could help save you big bucks in 2004.

The annual rush to file taxes is still several months away, but local accountants say doing a little tax work in 2003 can really pay off.

Tax experts have a few tips to help Georgians keep more of their money.

Carlton Holley /Certified Public Accountant
"If they expect to have a tax balance due on the (GA) state income tax, they can pay it by Dec. 31 and get a deduction for 2003, as opposed to paying in Jan. 15 or April 15,” explains CPA Carlton Holley.

There are other tips that are just as useful for people in Georgia and Florida.

Holley says people should take advantage of five different tax breaks:

Number 1: child tax credits.
Number 2: sell losing stocks. That can add up to a $3,000 write off.
Number 3: put a little more in the retirement account.
Number 4: give to charity.
Number 5: add money to flex accounts, if you plan on having higher medical expenses in the next year.

Holley says tax breaks put into place this year are already starting to help the local economy through small businesses.

"The businesses are starting to invest more, starting to hire more people, add employees and there's been a lot of discussion about adding benefits for employees, especially retirement plans,” Holley adds.

Holley says people need to get busy, because many of these options for 2003 run out Wednesday night.

Tax preparers also say filing your taxes well before the April 15 deadline can often lead to a larger refund from Uncle Sam.