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5 Things to Do Before December that You'll Thank Yourself for in April

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Prepay Your January Mortgage

Another way to get a little bit of a tax break is to send your January mortgage payment in December. The mortgage payments you make on the first of each month represent interest from the previous month, so the January payment is for December's interest. Even if you pay just a day early, on Dec. 31, you'll be able to claim the deduction for December instead of January. Experts advise to pay just a little bit before the last day of the year, though -- you'll still be fine with a Dec. 31 payment, but it might add paperwork in April because the lender might not have time to record the payment on your year-end tax forms. And you also need to keep in mind that if you take 13 months of interest deductions one year, you'll get only 11 or 12 the next year.

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