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Tax moves to make in October 2012

October is here! It's one of my favorite times of the year.

Fall weather really kicks in. Kids are back in school. Halloween is on the horizon.

And we taxpayers have plenty of time -- three full months -- to make moves that can ensure our 2012 tax bills are less scary than the ghouls roaming our streets on Oct. 31.

October_tax_moves_160But before turning attention totally to 2012, some folks have to take care of a bit of 2011 tax housekeeping.

Yep, I'm talking about meeting the Oct. 15 filing extension deadline. You've waited this long, so don't get in such a hurry to make the filing due date that you botch your return.

Check out these common filing mistakes so that you don't make them. And you definitely don't want to overlook any tax deductions that could reduce your final IRS bill.

The 2011 filing season tax tips, daily as well as weekly, also can help make sure you get your 1040 et al filled out to Uncle Sam's and your satisfaction.

OK. That feels good to have last year's taxes done, doesn't it? But you can't rest for long. It's now time to focus on your 2012 taxes.

Did your final filing, either this month or back in April, produce a big refund or an unexpected IRS bill? Either way, consider adjusting your withholding now so that you don't face the same situation next filing season.

If you itemize, make sure you don't waste any tax deductible expenses. Some Schedule A claims, such as miscellaneous and medical expenses, must meet percentage thresholds before you can deduct them.

Set up a bunching strategy now to help you meet those deduction requirements. This gives you months to make it work, rather than scrambling at year's end to come up with a few more receipts.

These are just a few of the October Tax Moves you'll find over in the ol' blog's left column. Check them out and see which ones could help you save some tax money -- and time -- as we start the final three-month countdown to the end of 2012.

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