Jackson Hewitt(R) Alerts Taxpayers to Money-Saving Tax Tips If They Take Action By December 31st

November 21, 2008 // Franchising.com // Parsippany, N.J., – Everyone is feeling the effects of the economic downturn this year. However, there is still time to ensure your 2009 starts off on the right foot, according to Jackson Hewitt Tax Service®. While you prepare to busy yourself with activities surrounding the upcoming holidays, now is also the time to take advantage of year-end tax tips and money-saving opportunities that may possibly help your bottom line when filing your 2008 income tax return.

"2008 in particular is a pro-taxpayer year in that there are literally hundreds of changes to the tax laws designed to stimulate the economy and save the average taxpayer money," said Mark Steber, vice president, tax resources for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. "In addition, taxpayers should consider some basic things they can do in 2008 that may help them see more money in their tax return early next year."

Simply taking a few extra steps by December 31st can help ensure you are getting the most from your tax return. Consider these five tips:

  • Pay your fourth quarter state estimated tax payments before December 31st so you can take the deduction on your 2008 tax return.
  • Pay January college tuition now to increase the amount that may qualify for the Hope or Lifetime learning credits and realize the deduction for 2008.
  • Pay your January mortgage payment by December 31st and include the interest part of the payment in your itemized deductions for 2008.
  • Make a donation to your favorite local charity of gently used furniture, clothing, household appliances and books. The "fair market value" of your donations may be allowed as part of your itemized deductions. Keep your receipts!
  • If you're in the market for a car, consider an energy saving vehicle now. A qualified hybrid or alternative fuel motor vehicle can qualify for a tax credit if bought in 2008.

"There are hundreds of deductions and credits that taxpayers overlook each year," added Steber. "Some of the most important steps to take are to organize your tax documents and receipts early, include any life changes such as the addition of a child, a new job or a renovation and find a qualified tax preparer. Don't miss out on deduction opportunities – there are many to take advantage of this year."

In addition to basic tax saving tips, there are new tax laws to consider. Some points for homeowners to note this year include:

  • If you're a first time homebuyer, a new credit allows you to qualify for a refundable credit of up to $7,500.
  • If you pay real estate taxes and do not itemize, you may increase your standard deduction by up to $500 or $1,000 if married filing jointly.
  • The new Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act allows you to exclude from income the debt forgiven when your home was foreclosed.

For more information, including a list of the most commonly overlooked deductions, credits and updates on recent tax changes, visit www.jacksonhewitt.com.

About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX), with approximately 6,800 franchised and company-owned offices throughout the United States during the 2008 tax season, is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax return preparation. Most offices are independently owned and operated. The Company is based in Parsippany, New Jersey. More information may be obtained at www.jacksonhewitt.com. To locate the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® office nearest to you, call 1-800-234-1040.

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