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Cool tax moves to make during August's hot Dog Days

And here we are, into August. School will start in some places this month. Elsewhere, folks are sneaking in one final vacation trip.

Bassett hound with ears blowing in the fanRegardless of whether you're packing the kiddos' lunches or packing for a final seasonal jaunt, you're probably just trying to stay cool during these Dog Days of summer.

You also should be looking at some August Tax Moves that could help you keep you cool now and at filing season next year.

Here are some ideas.

Tax-free shopping: Few things are cooler than getting a tax bargain. That's possible for shoppers in 18 states that this summer have back-to-school sales tax holidays.

Three were this past weekend, most are next Saturday and Sunday and a handful will wrap up the sales tax holiday season in mid-August.

Literally chilling out: This time of year also is when temperatures tend to trump taxes. But the two can coexist.

If you're considering putting in a backyard pool to help you make it through August's hot and icky days, you'll need more than the tax dollars you saved on your back-to-school tax holiday shopping spree. But if your swimming pool is a legitimate medical expense, some of the construction and maintenance costs could count as deductible medical expenses.

Or you could donate your tax-free savings dollars to an Internal Revenue Service qualified charity that helps folks who are still sweating out the summer. Many nonprofits provide energy assistance to low-income individuals, either by helping them pay their utility bills or by supplying them with fans.

If you itemize, your donation could net you a cool tax deduction.

August_tax_moves_160Doggone good tax moves: These are just a few tax-related things to think about this month. You can find more in the August Tax Moves listed over in the ol' blog's right column. Just scroll down to below the tax filing extension countdown clock and look for the dancing dog.

The August tax options that could help you save some money now or at tax-filing time next year could make you as happy as that prancing pooch.


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