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Changes coming to your 2013 taxes

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Many of you are getting ready to sit at the kitchen table with receipts and paperwork spread out to start preparing your tax return. But before you start, let's look at the changes for 2013.

The biggest changes are for the well-to-do. One CPA is quoted as saying, "People in high income tax brackets are going to get killed this year," then there's the rest of us. Many of us do our own taxes, so grab a pen and paper and jot down these few things.

According to "The Street" an investing, finance and business Web site, the average taxpayer refund is expected to be down this year to $2,600.

Numbers can be boring, but when it is tax time, numbers count. So, listen up; here's a bump for the middle class: Personal exemptions for 2013 actually go up to $3,900.

Debra Borchardt is a markets' analyst for "The Street," "This is focused toward the middle-income families, so if you're adjusted gross income is $150,000 or less, you can take this personal exemption of $3,900."

And this one is big for all of you who work at home. Borchardt says in the past it's been pretty complicated to figure out what breaks you can get.

"You had to take a calculation of square footage and how much you spent on the phone and the Internet and the heating and the insurance, well, they've made it a whole lot easier now. It's called the safe harbor method, and it is square foot times $5. Very simple. Square foot times $5, and it's capped at $1,500."

Let's talk about the Affordable Care Act and how that affects your 2013 return. Well, it doesn't, but the decisions you make this year will matter a lot next time.

"Decisions you make in 2014, in regards to your healthcare, will affect the taxes you do next year, so look closely at the decisions you're making this year," says Borchardt.

Note that the energy efficiency tax break that started in 2008 is about to wrap up. If you haven't already taken this $500 deduction for energy efficient home improvements, this is your last year to do it.

This is a full list, but federally you can get a credit for insulation, roofs and doors. But state guidelines can differ, so look it up and be prepared.

For more information visit: Get Credit for Making your Home Energy Efficient and find out more about Energy Tax Credits here.


SEND US YOUR TAX QUESTIONS

And our resident go-to tax expert, Bill Nemeth and the I-Team's Dana Fowle will answer them, here.

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