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3 On Your Side: Tax Changes

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They say nothing is certain in life but death and taxes. This year, thanks to some last minute changes by Congress, you could be saving a bundle! 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan tells us what we need to know before we file.

The tax rules seem to change every year, so you want to be sure that you’re claiming all the deductions you’re entitled to.

When Mike and Ela Arman built their home they went green.

“We used high efficiency water heater, high efficiency heat pump, double-paned argon filled windows that are insulated,” said Mike Arman.

In addition to saving energy, they’ll also be saving money on their taxes.

“The home energy efficiency credit is an up to fifteen hundred dollar credit you can get by making improvements to your house that increase its efficiency,” said Elaine Smith of H&R Block.

This particular credit expired at the end of last year, so you need to claim it on your 2010 return or lose it forever.

Another expiring credit you’ll want to claim for 2010? The “making work pay” credit.

“It’s four hundred dollars for single people and eight hundred for people married filing jointly. It’s a credit for people who worked, even if they worked a little. It was the most commonly missed credit last year,” said Smith.

Some other last minute tax changes may work in your favor too.

“Taxpayers stand to get thousands of extra dollars and credits this year, such as the educator’s expense, where teachers are paying for their own expenses for their classes, or the tuition and fees deduction, which will help a lot of parents and students who are in higher education,” said Peggy Riley, with the IRS.

So how do you make sure you’re getting all the deductions you deserve?

The IRS recommends that tax payers file electronically. The programs will automatically ask you about credits and deductions that you may not even be aware of, and it will help you get the best refund you’re entitled to.

Watch this video…

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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More from Jim Donovan

    I recently left the following note on Delta’s website, “My wife and I live near Philadelphia, my son and family in Atlanta. For my birthday, they sent me a “gift certificate” to be used to fly to Atlanta to visit them and our grandchildren. When I tried to use it to book a ticket online there was no way to cash in the gift certificate. I called one of your agents who explained that the only place to book my flight to use this “gift ticket” was at the AIRPORT! That means I must take off of work, travel to the next state paying tolls and parking fees, wait in a long line to cash in a “gift certificate.” I highly recommend that you change the name to “Ticket from HELL.” You are the largest airline company in the USA and you cannot produce a gift certificate that can be redeemed online where most of your passengers book their tickets? Shame on you. I sent the “gift certificate” back to my son and told him the next time he goes to the airport to redeem it and keep the money. Needless to say, no one in my famiily or anyone who reads my reports will be purchasing DELTA gift certificates again.”

    I send this to you to warn others NOT TO PURCHASE GIFT CERTIFICATES FROM DELTA/NORTHWEST. It will save them hours of aggravation.

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