TODAY   |  April 03, 2014

Valuable tax tips as April 15 looms

Sharon Epperson, CNBC’s personal finance correspondent, joins TODAY to offer some last-minute tax tips and money-saving deductions before the April 15 deadline.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> "today's money" is brought to you by i.n.g.

>>> we're here with some last-minute tax tips. with the april 15th deadline just 12 days away now, sharon , it's good to see you. a lot of people wait till the last minute.

>> i'm one of them.

>> can you file an extension. what's a good reason to do that and a bad reason to do that?

>> the good reason to do that is if you don't have all your paperwork together, you need to gather a lot of documents, about 7% of filers ask for a six-month extension in the last couple of weeks. 20% to 25% have not yet filed. you're not alone.

>> more and more people are filing returns online and a lot of people think you have to buy special software to do that. it's not only the case.

>> there are two ways if you have a simple return. the irs web site has certainly called free file. that's a link to about 14 different tax return providers if you file your return that way, if you make $50,000 a year or less. if you make more, you have access to the irs fillable form.

>> charitable deductions. we encourage people to make contributions to charities but they get confusing.

>> keep receipts for everything. and if you make a deduction of 250 or more, you're going to have to qualify.

>> by the way, a cancelled check for cash you mentioned.

>> this is important for parents. their college deposits into some college funds can be deductible.

>> on your state tax deduction . if you make a contribution to a 529 college savings plan you may be able to deduct that contribution on your state tax return . you want to double-check about that. if you're an in-state residenresident, that's usually how it works. in new york you can deduct $10,000.

>> if you have a health savings plan, you can put money in here and that will help pay for medical expenses. you can put in over $3,000 for an individual, over $6,000 for a family. that's a good way to reduce taxable income .

>> we asked our viewers to submit questions for you. may we do that?

>> sure.

>> tamron, why doesn't you start asking the the questions for sharon .

>> aim each says what percentage, if any, can you write off from dental, medical expenses with 1099 ?

>> i think what amy is getting at is can i deduct, does that 10% threshold apply to me, it has to exceed greater than 10% of your adjusted gross income .

>> i asked sharon if this was a real question and it is legit. "i owe the government, can anyone out there ".

>> you need to contact the irs . if you're in trouble and can't pay, you need to make sure you get an installment plan with the irs . you need to let them know right away so you don't get penalties and interest.

>> tamron, sharon , thank you very much. keep the questions coming. sharon will stick around to