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Tax tips (and a TurboTax discount) for your 2013 taxes

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Tax Day will be here before we know it. Your W2s, 1099s and other ingredients in the alphabet-and-numbers soup of tax time will be arriving in your mail even sooner. As your neighborhood bank, we wanted to help out with some handy tips -- and a handy tax-filing discount!

Get up to a 20% discount from Umpqua Bank and TurboTax: TurboTax has declared it "The Year of You" and we want to help by offering a discount of up to 20% on filing your federal tax return through TurboTax. Just use this link to take advantage: Get up to 20% off Turbo Tax through Umpqua.

So, what can you do improve this year's tax season - or next year's? We asked Umpqua CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional Pradeep Tempalli, who provided his favorite tips from tax pros and other experts:

Feed the IRA, lower your taxes: Because the money you contribute to a traditional IRA is a pre-tax contribution, it means you will owe less in income taxes. And because in recent years contributions made until the April 15 tax deadline have been applied to the return for the previous year, they have been popular among people who scramble to soften the blow of a large tax bill.

However, traditional IRAs are tax-deferred, not tax-exempt. Deferred taxes eventually must be paid, presumably at retirement. Alternatively, there are non-traditional IRAs, such as the Roth IRA, that don't soften the tax bill today but could really lighten the burden in your golden years.

To learn more or open an IRA through Umpqua, come into your neighborhood store, call 1-866-4UMPQUA or check out our IRA page.

Research pays: The bottom line is you don't know what you don't know. A couple hours of research on websites such as can yield hundreds, even thousands of dollars, in tax savings. The IRS website has tons of information. You just have to be patient and look around.

If it starts to give you a headache, newspaper financial columnists are writing about taxes a lot around this time of year. Take a spin through the business sections of The OregonianThe Seattle TimesThe San Francicsco Chronicle and The Sacramento Bee.

Talk with a tax expert: However diligent your research, the sprawling, ever-changing tax code makes it easy to miss a meaningful tax break. An investment in a savvy tax adviser or accountant can pay for itself many times over by finding provisions that might otherwise go overlooked.

All the best to you this tax season. Once you've filed your taxes, let out a sigh and if you're getting a refund let out one of these. Cheers from Umpqua!