Don't get creative in your tax-reduction arguments. Filing a "frivolous" tax appeal merely to stall payment can earn you a stiff fine in court. In the past 12 months, the U.S. Tax Court has imposed nearly $136,000 in such penalties, more than the previous two years combined. Average penalty last year: $5,509. Good resource: IRS fact sheet, The Truth about Frivolous Tax Arguments, at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/friv_tax.pdf.