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Don't spend money to save tax dollars

You know that old saying, you've got to spend money to make money? That might be true in some cases.

But when it comes to taxes, don't fall for spending money just to save on taxes.

Year after tax year, one of the most common refrains from both so-called experts and taxpayers is "there's a deduction for that." 

I admit it. I write about deductions here on the ol' blog all the time. But when it comes to these tax breaks, every filer needs to answer a key question:

Handing over money (5)

What exactly is that deduction worth?

If you can't come up with a good financial and tax answer, then you shouldn't be spending simply because "there's a deduction for that."

Folks who use the spend-to-save approach to tax cutting remind me of shoppers who indiscriminately use coupons and end up forking over more than they meant to and a heck of a lot more than they saved. Why purchase for a few dollars a product that you normally wouldn't buy just to save a few pennies?

So that's why I was thrilled to see the tax advice of Mike Callahan, tax director at Spicer Jeffries LLP in Greenwood Village, Colo., over on Going Concern. (And thanks, Tax Update Blog for the tip.)

Mike shared with GC's Caleb Newquist five overrated tax planning ideas. Four of them essentially are don't go spending your money to get negligible tax savings.

The thing people tend to forget when they hear "deduction" is that you'll only get a percent of the money you spend back via your tax return. If you have a $100 deduction and are in the 25 percent tax bracket, it's worth $25 less taxes.

But you're still out the other $75.

So if an expense is for something you truly need and it can provide you a deduction, that's a great bonus.

But if you really you didn't really need what you paid the Benjamin for, then you've lost in the long run, even with the tax break.

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learn to earn online

That's a great tips..thanks for it!I will apply it myself..thanks

money off vouchers

Wow, awesome tips here. And dang do the tips go on and on! Definitely something I’ll set some side aside and dig into.


Well, I agree but disagree a little.

I find that people can save money but spending money (such as putting some in an IRA, etc...) though by spending the money you are technically doing something that you should be doing anyway

And there are the rules about IRA's where you can't touch for awhile, etc....

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