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Save on Your Taxes

Get a tax credit, redeem that bond

Millions are looking for ways to shave dollars and dimes from their daily expenses. To share your own tips, send us an e-mail telling us how you save. You can save money on everything, but here's how you can get started saving on your yearly tax bill.

Sell stock and mutual fund shares. Selling equities at a loss cuts your tax liability by offsetting capital gains, but this year you might consider selling winners. After 2010, the maximum capital gains rate is scheduled to go up to 20 percent, from 15 percent.

Max out on employer matches of IRA or 401(k) contributions, or you could be leaving money on the table.

Free online calculators can help you make decisions on tough money issues like retirement, investing and insurance. At choosetosave.org, operated by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, you can find several specialized number-crunchers.

Next: Explore energy tax credits. >>

Get a tax credit of up to $1,500 by installing qualifying energy-efficient windows, doors, a water heater or roofing. Do the work by the end of 2010, but if you did it last year, check if you are still eligible. Find details at energystar.gov.

If you turn 70 1/2 this year, you’ll have to take money out of your 401(k) or IRA by April 1, 2011. Do it this year, not next. Some experts say income tax rates may rise next year, which would mean a bigger bite out of your withdrawal.

Book time this summer with your tax preparer, who may give you a better rate during the slow months. Aim at getting a tax-cutting plan in place for the rest of the year.

Redeem that bond. The Treasury says that $17 billion worth of U.S. Savings Bonds no longer earn interest but remain unredeemed.

Owed money? The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators is holding almost $33 billion of unclaimed stocks, bank accounts and other assets. Go to missingmoney.com or unclaimed.org to see if any of it has your name on it.

You may also like: How to cut car and gas costs. >>

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