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Ways to reduce your tax bill in 2014

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There are several things you can do in the next week that will reduce your tax bill in 2014.

And you don't want to wait until News Year's Eve to start planning.

Thinking of fixing a drafty door, or putting more insulation in your attic? You may want to do it, because the government energy tax credits are due to expire on Dec. 31. (They may be reinstated in January, but Congress left for its Christmas 2013 break without renewing them).

As result, our partners at the consumer guide Angie's List says a lot of savvy shoppers are putting insulation on their Santa wish list this year. 

"We're hearing of consumers taking advantage of the credits by installing new windows, installing new doors, insulation, even heating and cooling."

Angie Hicks says you can get up to $500 for purchasing insulation, certain high efficiency water heaters, windows, doors or a central air conditioner or heat pump.

What Everyone Can Do

Angie's List has several other suggestions for reducing your tax bill in April:

-Donate to charity before Dec. 31

-Contribute to your IRA or 529 college fund by Dec. 31

CPA's expect to be very busy with all the coming changes, so the earlier you can book a professional, the better.

CPA Jennifer Harris said, "Folks should set up an appointment as soon as anything changes in their financial situation from the year before. It's never too late to educate yourself on what your situation is for that year. So, anytime during the year is the best time to schedule an appointment."

Christmas week is a great time to make some cash or clothing donations to reduce next spring's tax bill. And if you're thinking of hiring a pro, it's better to look now that to wait until February.

As always, don't waste your money.

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