taxes tax formsRight now you are thinking about the holiday season and buying presents for loved ones. Doing your taxes isn’t something you want to even think about until the second week of April next year. Yet you may not be aware of the fact that there are several tax breaks on the books that will be expiring at the end of 2013. Congress may or may not extend these benefits into 2014, so take advantage of these tax breaks while you still can.

Transit benefits

Workers who used the train to get to work were able to defer $245 pretax salary per month on transit expenses, such as rail passes for their daily commute. Called the transit parity tax, this benefit helped transit commuters get the same benefits as car commuters who enjoyed the $245 pretax deferral. Well, this benefit changes at the end of 2013 as it will drop down to only $130 per month.

Electric vehicle credit

People who purchased electric vehicles will no longer be able to get a tax credit after this year. Those purchasing electric vehicles before the end of this year may still be eligible for up to a $7,500 tax credit.

Energy efficiency tax breaks

Have you purchased an energy-efficient appliance or remodeled your home to be more energy efficient since 2006 and haven’t used your energy efficiency tax break yet? You only have until Dec. 31st to get this credit before it expires. You may be able to get $500 for making your home more energy efficient and a separate $500 for those energy-efficient appliances. You can only get the credits once, so if you already claimed it before you can’t do it again.

Teacher’s classroom expenses deduction

Teachers who used to pay for classroom supplies from their own pockets and take an above-the-line deduction of $250 for unreimbursed expenses will see this tax benefit vanish when kids return from Christmas break in January 2014.

IRA distributions to charity

If you are 70 years of age or older and have a traditional IRA, you can donate up to $100,000 to charities instead of paying income tax on the distribution, according to ABC News. This tax break is ending, so you only have until December 31, 2013 to take advantage of it.

State and local sales tax

If you don’t pay local or state income taxes yet paid sales tax and took that as a federal deduction on your income taxes, you won’t be able to do that next year. So get that holiday shopping done for those big items this year to enjoy this deduction one last time.

Mortgage insurance premiums

Homeowners who pay private mortgage insurance were ab0149le to deduct this premium on their taxes. While this tax break is ending this year, you may still be able to deduct the mortgage interest if you itemize your deductions, according to US News.

Mortgage debt cancellation

Forgiven debts are taxable income. Yet if you sold your home during a short sale or it is foreclosed, you were able to exclude up to $2 million of the debt from your taxable income. You won’t be able to do this next year unless Congress extends the tax break. So try to nudge that closing date before December 31, 2013 to still take advantage of it.