Several tax breaks are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Here are eight you should consider taking advantage of before they disappear:
8. Remodeling your home for energy efficiency
Homeowners who remodel their homes to make them more energy efficient can take a credit of up to $500 over their lifetime. A separate $500 credit is available for energy-efficient appliances.
7. Electric vehicles
Consumers who buy a qualified electric plug-in vehicle may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500 depending on the size of the car's battery pack, according to U.S. News & World Report.
6. State and local sales tax
Taxpayers who live in states without an income tax can still deduct the sales tax they paid instead, but only until the end of this year.
5. IRA distributions to charity
Withdrawals from an IRA owned by someone age 70½ or over that is paid directly to a qualified charity can be excluded from gross income.
4. Mortgage insurance premiums
Premiums for mortgage insurance were deductible in 2012 and 2013, but that provision is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.
3. Transit benefits
In 2013, employees can spend up to $245 pretax per month on transit benefits such as rail passes, but that benefit will drop to $130 per month next year.
2. Exclusion of cancellation of indebtedness on principal residence
The U.S. tax code treats forgiven debts as taxable income. However, if your principal residence is foreclosed or sold in a short sale before the end of the year, you can exclude up to $2 million of forgiven debt from your taxable income under this provision.
1. Teachers' classroom expenses deduction
Eligible educators who work in a primary or secondary school can deduct up to $250 in unreimbursed classroom expenses.
Click here to read more about the eight tax breaks expiring at the end of 2013 from U.S. News & World Report.
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