Still Not Too Late for 2006 Tax Deductions

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Knoxville (WVLT) - With the New Year approaching, tax filers have less than a week to make end-of-the-year tax-related purchases and donations.

Volunteer TV's Gary Loe tells you how new tax law changes could not only save you money, but why you'll have to act quickly, if you haven't already, to take advantage of the savings.

Recent changes in federal tax laws will affect the amount tax payers may owe this year.

Experts say a new law requires tax filers to have a receipt for cash donations submitted for a deduction.

"It's actually been just abused a lot," Knoxville CPA Jerry Tipton says other changes regarding tax deductions and credits will allow his customers to pay less this year.

UT and other educational institutions, churches and charities are encouraging end-of-the-year donations, which must be postmarked by December 31st.

"You're going to save just around 15% at least, on your tax liability," says Tipton.

Congress is again allowing Tennesseans to deduct sales tax, in lieu of a state income tax deduction.

But, Tipton recommends non-homeowners take the standard deduction.

"Is that included in that original $9,000 deductions?" asks Eileen Hampton.

Eileen and Geoff Hampton of East Knox County made home improvements which may mean significant savings.

A recent law change provides a 10% tax credit to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes, which are used as primary residences.

Those improvements include insulation systems, exterior windows and doors, and metal roofs.

The law also provides a $500 maximum credit for qualified natural gas furnaces, water heaters and circulating fans.

"During this past year, we have done home improvements so, we'll be looking forward to finding out more about it," says Geoff Hampton. "Anything that saves us money."

This CPA will see the majority of his customers just before the April tax filing deadline,

That Knoxville CPA also alerts you to a telephone excise tax credit most filers will automatically receive this year.

A settlement in a class-action lawsuit against long distance companies will provide a minimum $30 credit for folks who made, or will make, long distance calls between March 2003 and the end of this year.