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How to Jump-start Your Tax-savings Strategy

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(ARA) – Fall has definitely arrived. The air is brisk, leaves are changing color, football is in full swing, and daylight hours are already getting shorter. And, while many of us see this time of the year as the lull before the holidays, for almost 10 million American taxpayers, those who filed extensions for the 2005 tax season, the fourth-quarter hustle and bustle is already upon them. Indeed, many Americans have adopted October 15 as being the contemporary April 15 tax deadline.

All things considered (the stress and confusion that most of us associate with filing our tax return), is it really any wonder why so many of us use time to distance ourselves from having to sit down to prepare our next return? Just like making a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, at one time or another, most of us have or will vow to better prepare for the following tax season. ‘I’ll do a better job of tracking of my receipts. I’ll make more donations. I’ll open an IRA.’ Sound familiar? OK, so how many of you have managed to hold true to your pledge to grow personal saving by devising a tax strategy?

Although most Americans agree they want to enjoy the independence that having more money tends to allow, the lion’s share fail to devise a roadmap for effective tax-savings as part of their overall financial plan. In fact, for most, the biggest question is how and when they should begin to save. But, did you know that a well-developed tax plan can dramatically increase savings?

Admittedly, most of us will do just about anything to avoid what we consider as being painful. Tax . . . Taxes . . . Taxing. It sounds painfully draining to most of us.

Unless you know about a handy site called, which is offering taxpayers an opportunity use TaxACT Preview (over-the-Web or as a software download) to perform a FREE, end-of-the-year check-up – providing users with valuable insight into their ’06 tax situation. Visitors need only complete the site’s free online registration to gain full access to either TaxACT’s Online Standard and/or Deluxe Editions to generate a forecasted federal income tax refund or liability amount.

Developed by 2nd Story Software, Inc., a company based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the first of its kind to offer American taxpayers a year-round Web-based tax planning and preparation utility that allows them to take a fresh look at their withholding rate without having to invest a great deal of time or money.

‘Most taxpayers assume there is no need to perform an early analysis to forecast their tax situation if their tax withholding and liabilities will closely match those of the prior tax year. However, even the smallest change to your personal circumstances can have a tremendous impact on your tax liability,’ says Lance Dunn, president of 2nd Story Software.

Dunn continues, ‘It’s the more common occurrences that take place in our lives, which we are quick to overlook, that affect us the most. Changes to wage earnings and withholding status, as well as lifestyle (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, buying a house, losing an exemption, or retirement), are precisely the events that should prompt taxpayers to take inventory of their personal tax situation.’

Performing a mid-season review of your tax situation isn’t painful at all with TaxACT’s Online Preview Deluxe. In fact,’s interview-like environment steps you through the process in well under an hour. Having your last pay stub and a copy of your 2005 tax return is ample information to get you started. Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or not, ask yourself this, ‘Is a few minutes of my time well-spent if I can keep more of what I earn?’ Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But, what happens if you don’t find those additional credits and deductions, which can potentially increase your refund amount? Look at it this way: you still have an advantage by having a jump-start on your ’06 taxes.

Courtesy of ARA Content


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