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Right, I don't expect to end up with more money by donating. I wouldn't mind donating a bit more if it means I can pay the government less.

Right, but it also means you end up with less, not the same. That sounds to me like 'spite', and not a financial decision. While no one likes to pay taxes, you may want to rethink the "I'd rather burn money than give it to the gov't" perspective, it could hurt you down the road. (Note: I am not saying that giving to charities is burning money, but searching out charities that you had no intention of giving to just to avoid taxation kinda is).


I'm curious, does transferring money into a retirement fund affect tax liability? I should have done it earlier, but I just started putting money into a 401k plan.

If you're eligible for a Traditional IRA, yes. But with your income level (based on yor tax liability), you won't be. It's a good idea to put money in a Roth IRA, and it avoids future taxation, but won't help you now. The 401K plan is also a good way to avoid taxation (and *help* yourself), so keep doing that.

The only other thing I can think of is if you have any investment with losses. You could sell them and take the loss and reduce your tax liability. But it's not a good idea to do things JUST for the tax reasons. If you like the company/investment, and want to hold on, the you could easily lose out more than the tax benefit. If you were thinking of selling anyway... well, it could be a good idea.
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