Before you pop the bubbly to welcome in the New Year, Geithner and his gang of bandits have a few tips for you to consider doing over the next two days:
Make Charitable Contributions – If you itemize deductions, your donations must be made to qualified charities no later than Dec. 31 to be deductible for 2011.
Install Energy-Efficient Home Improvements – You still have time this year to make energy-saving and green-energy home improvements and qualify for either of two home energy credits.
Consider a Portfolio Adjustment – Check your investments for gains and losses and consider sales by Dec. 31. You may normally deduct capital losses up to the amount of capital gains, plus $3,000 from other income. If your net capital losses are more than $3,000, the excess can be carried forward and deducted in future years.
Contribute the Maximum to Retirement Accounts – Elective deferrals you make to employer-sponsored 401(k) plans or similar workplace retirement programs for 2011 must be made by Dec. 31. However, you have until April 17, 2012, to set up a new IRA or add money to an existing IRA and still have it count for 2011.
Make a Qualified Charitable Distribution – If you are age 70½ or over, the qualified charitable distribution (QCD) allows you to make a distribution paid directly from your individual retirement account to a qualified charity, and exclude the amount from gross income.
Don't Overlook the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit – If you are a small employer who pays at least half of your employee health insurance premiums, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35 percent of the premiums paid.
You can find the full detailed list with links to important publications here.