With a few days left to organize your tax files for 2011, it's still possible to make adjustments to lower your obligation to Uncle Sam. A number of sites have suggestions for the right moves.
The self-employed have a special list of tax chores to attend to at the end of the year, this report from Reuters says. Do your estimated taxes. There's a business deduction this year for those who buy computers, so do that. And, look at other economic-stimulus provisions meant to spur small business that could even help you persuade a tentative investor to plunk down some cash.
It is tax advice aimed at an audience of lawyers, but Martindale.com's year-end pointers make sense for a lot of people. Included in this recent post is a reminder to decide how much extra money you may be able to funnel into an IRA or 401(k) retirement account. The amounts allowed are biggest for those over 50 who need to start beefing up such funds. You have until April 2012 to make contributions for this year, but it's not too soon to get organized.
The Internal Revenue Service, on its home page, features articles for the end of the year, including guidelines to explain the tax benefits you may gain through some last-minute charitable giving and reviews of tax changes coming for 2012. In a video boxed on the right-hand side of the page, IRS anchor John gives year-end tax tips for setting up a filing system to stay organized, along with a reminder that you'll need to dig out receipts for safekeeping if you itemize deductions.
If you are lucky enough to get a bonus this year, About.com tax "guide" William Perez suggests asking the boss to help you with this year's taxes by paying your bonus after Jan. 1 - presumably giving you time to figure out in 2012 how to minimize the tax hit. And, Perez says, sell stocks that have bombed so you can claim the losses for 2011. A list of additional year-end-idea posts links to more advice for investors and how to give tax-free cash gifts to relatives.