While some people pay a professional to do their taxes for them, others prefer to do it by themselves.  Although it costs money to have someone do them for you, some people prefer this method to ensure that they have deducted and calculated everything correctly.  Whichever method you choose, there are some tips to remember when filing taxes.

  1. File online to save time and money.  Filing online is as easy as filling out a survey.  They will ask you simple questions and you just have to enter in your information into the blank forms.
  2. Save receipts to make things easy when filing taxes.  If you ever get audited, you will be required to show proof of your deductions with your receipts.  Keep them in a folder or a drawer for now until you need them.
  3. Starting your taxes early is an awesome idea.  Although you may have not received your W-2 forms yet, your last paycheck should have some of the tax information that you will need on it; for an example how much you made that year and how much money in taxes was taken out.  You can log online and print out some of the state and federal forms you will need to complete your taxes.
  4. There are ways to get a big refund back during tax season.  One way to get a big tax refund is to withhold more out of your check out of each paycheck.
  5. During the year you should be deducting all donations.  Whether you are donating them to people you do not know, or to corporations such as Goodwill, these can be considered tax donations.  You can deduct donations such as clothes, furniture, vehicles, dishes, sporting equipment, etc.  You can also deduct cash donations when you donate your cash to a charity or a church.  Another thing you can deduct are expenses that you accumulate work.  Some businesses require their employees to buy their own laptops, business cell phones, etc.  These are all things that can be deducted on your taxes.  Another thing you can deduct is your dependent children.
  6. If you can, it is a good idea to refinance your house.  There are many benefits to refinancing your house which include lower interest rates and a lower monthly mortgage payment.  When you refinance your house you can also get a larger tax return back at the end of the year.
  7. Did you do any remodeling to your house lately?  These remodels could include installing solar powered panels, improving the efficiency of your windows, etc.  These remodels can give you a higher tax credit during tax season.
  8. Even if you are filing taxes by yourself, you may still have a few questions and want help.  There are many colleges that have accounting students who will offer free advice with any tax questions you may have.

There are many ways to increase your tax refund and learn easy steps to filing your taxes.  The last thing you want to do is make a mistake on your taxes.  Tax season can mean many things including paying off your bills or going out shopping.

J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2013: For Preparing Your 2012 Tax Return
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