In recent years, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become major events for many Americans, because they use the deep discounts retailers provide on those days to save a lot of money on their holiday shopping needs. However, one thing they may not realize is that they can also save some money in terms of taxes - if they are able to shop smart enough.
One thing that consumers might need to keep in mind is that the products that are often given the biggest discounts are big-ticket items. This typically includes laptop and desktop computers, smartphones, storage devices, and kitchen appliances. And, depending upon a few different factors - including the state in which the consumer is making such purchases - they might be able to qualify for certain types of discounts on their tax bills for those purchases. For instance, some states will still give consumers tax breaks if they upgrade to energy-efficient appliances, and combining those savings with the deals found on Black Friday might allow consumers to save hundreds of dollars on purchases they might have made anyway. Further, in certain circumstances, computer and even smartphone purchases can be at least partially written off. For example, if they are being made for a small business.
A few days later, when Cyber Monday rolls around, consumers might be able to make large purchases through online retailers that can likewise help them avoid taxes. The added cost of sales tax in some states can be quite sizable, especially for larger transactions, and often having the ability to make such a purchase online can help consumers avoid significant charges for this kind of thing as opposed to if they'd bought the products they want at a brick-and-mortar store. Because many online retailers also offer free shipping for orders of $50 or more, these sizable purchases will likely also help consumers avoid some of the issues that can arise when high shipping costs are added onto a purchase, and otherwise diminish the value of buying online.
However, it's also important that consumers who are planning to take advantage of these kinds of tax breaks should keep in mind that they'll need to save the receipts to prove to the state or federal tax collectors that they are eligible for the discounts they will try to claim on their tax filing.
What's the plan?
The idea behind locking in big savings - not only on the holiday shopping items a consumer might want, but also their annual tax filings - is obviously a very attractive one for many Americans. However, it often takes careful planning and coordination with other like-minded value hunters to lock in every available deal targeted by consumers. Often, the wisest first step is to decide which store or stores people will be hitting, especially on Black Friday. Because that often involves camping out for at least a few hours in the early morning, putting together a strategy for not only which stores they're going to, but also what they want to buy there and how best to get to those locations, is a very wise idea.
For instance, a consumer who wants to buy a new TV might want to go to the big box electronics store should figure out the most efficient way to get from the store entrance to the TV section, and specifically the model they want to buy. That way, when the doors open and other shoppers start rushing in - and often, it's a full-on sprint to get to the best deals available - consumers will be able to know for sure exactly where they're going. They might also want to keep in mind whether they're going to need a shopping cart to facilitate in carrying all their various purchases, because that's something they will need to plan for in their timing as well.
Further, consumers should also try to make sure they have their smartphones loaded with whatever coupons and other deals they need to lock in every cent of available savings.
And when it comes to Cyber Monday, there's a very easy way around all these issues. Typically, major online retailers will advertise exactly what deals will be available, and when they'll be available. All consumers usually have to do at that point is go find all the discounted items they plan to buy, and add them to their carts ahead of time. Then, when the deals tick over into being accessible, they just have to click the purchase button. That saves a lot of furious, frustrating browsing while trying to take advantage of the available deals.
Finally, though, it should also be noted that those who are trying to combine store discounts and tax savings should try to consult with a professional tax preparer to make sure they've done what's necessary to obtain every type of discount they seek.