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Still time to use simple ways to save on taxes before end of year

Salvation Army bell ringers

We are approaching the end of 2013 but there is still time for you to save some money on your taxes this year.

With just days until the new year, experts have some advice on how to lessen the load on your payments to Uncle Sam.

First, donate clothes and other items you no longer need to charitable organizations like the Salvation Army.

Be sure to get a receipt to file on your tax return.

“You also may want to give a cash contribution that you would have given next year this year, so you get the benefit of the deduction this year,” Adam Levin said, co-founder of credit.com.

Don’t wait until next year for a dental or eye exam.

“Things like glasses or orthodontal work that you’re going to need done anyway, if you can get the appointment scheduled and take care of the bill in this calendar year, the floor for medical expenses has been raised in terms of deduction,” Levin said.

For 2013, you can deduct medical expenses not covered by insurance if they add up to more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Credits for making your home energy-efficient  are expiring at the end of this year.

“You can get a credit for up to 10 percent of improvements you make in your home involving insulation or water heater, windows and doors; things that will make your home more energy-efficient,” Levin said.

Also, go ahead and make your mortgage payment right now fro Jan. 2014; that will give you an extra month’s worth of expenses  to deduct.

If you don’t have a mortgage, you can take the same step with early payments on property taxes or medical bills due in Jan.