Your Money: Steps you take now can boost tax refund

Your tree is trimmed, your gifts are wrapped and your plane ticket home has been booked. Now you just have to figure out how you're going to pay for your holiday merriment when the bills come due next year.

One potential source of cash is your tax refund. In 2010, the average refund was about $3,000. Here are some steps you can take through Dec. 31 that could increase the size of the check you get from the IRS:


•Tighten up your home. If drafts are making your holiday candles flicker, consider adding some insulation to your home before the end of the year. You may qualify for a tax credit worth up to 10% of the cost, up to a maximum of $500. Other products that qualify for the tax credit include weather stripping and spray foam or caulking designed to seal air leaks.


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