End of the year tax tips

LAWTON--It's the time of year for shopping, waiting in lines, and holiday cheer.  Would you believe it's also time to think about your taxes?

"People should be thinking about getting all their documents in order," said Chris Vajgrt, general manager of Liberty Tax Service in Lawton.  "There are some things people can do, even this late time of year, to save money on their taxes."

The first tip--is think about your retirement.  You may have an IRA or 401k, but before 2006 ends, you might want to put more money into your retirement.

"It's also a way you can reduce your gross income, which in turn, would reduce your taxes," Vajgrt said.

It's also the time of year many of us are feeling charitable, and Vajgrt explained charity can be good for your returns.

"By giving to charity, you can increase your deductions," he said.  "It can further reduce your taxable income."

His final tip offered to those getting ready to file--check your check.

"Check your withholdings," he said.  "When you get your paycheck make sure you're having enough taxes withheld so you don't end up owing."

Also, as a reminder, Congress has renewed several tax deductions and credits that either had expired or were about to.  Vajgrt recommended to check with your accountant or financial planner to see if any of these deductions or credits apply to you.