Trim your taxable income with these strategies, and don't miss frequently overlooked deductions
.Look for losses.
If you took a hit in the market in 2007 or even if you switched investments within a fund family at a loss, you can spin the pain into tax gold. First you must use losses to offset capital gains. Then you can deduct another $3,000 worth against ordinary income. What's left carries over to later tax years. So make sure you don't have any leftover losses from, say, a bad bet on GM in 2005. Pad your retirement.
You can fund an IRA for 2007 until April 15 (the max is $4,000; $5,000 if you were 50 as of Jan. 1). And don't assume you earn too much to write it off. Even if you and your spouse have retirement plans at work, you can deduct part of your contribution if your modified adjusted gross income (AGI) is below $103,000. For a full deduction, your modified AGI must be $83,000 or less. Itemize.
Some 63% of taxpayers don't itemize - at their financial peril. A 2002 Government Accountability Office report found that filers who should have itemized but didn't paid $438 extra on average. NEXT: I'm stuck paying the AMT. Isn't there a way out?