Tabbymom Jen FlickrOK, we get it. Everyone likes to put off thinking about taxes until as close to April 15 as possible. But a little year-end tax thought -- and action! -- will ensure that you're eligible for thousands of dollars in deductions. If you don't act now, you'll lose out. Don't leave money on the table!

Here are a few tips to get you started and, as always, we suggest checking out IRS.gov for more information!

Push It to Next Year
If you are expecting any extra taxable income this year, be it from a moonlighting job or from selling your computer on eBay, try to push the income into 2010. There are a few ways to do that. For example, if you did some freelance work, don't bill until January. Note, however, that if the client/employer writes a check dated in 2009 and you don't cash it until 2010, it still counts as 2009 income.

Save for Retirement
If you're lucky enough to have some cash lying around, you can still put in an entire year's 401(k) contribution, which is $16,500, in pre-tax income. For those with a regular IRA (or considering opening one), the maximum contribution is $5,000. The contribution is tax-deferred income, which means that you don't pay taxes on it until the time comes to retire. We suggest that, if you have the money, you do both. (Though we love Roth IRAs, doing this now won't help you tax-wise for this year, but it may set you up for future savings.)

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