Dollar Sign(87499)Credit: you paying someone to file your personal income taxes?  You can save a good bit of money by doing it yourself.  The IRS website offers various companies you can use to electronically file your state and federal return for little or no cost.  These programs have made it very simple to do your own taxes.  Most offer a step by step guide with different questions to cover nearly all deductions, credits, and expenses.  They also have help sections which cover most tax topics, and double-check your return for errors before electronically filing.  You will need the same information that you would take to a tax preparer, such as W2's, social security numbers and birth dates for yourself and any dependents, and any documented proof of deductions or expenses you plan to claim.

Some common items that people claim on their tax return is:  child care cost, mortgage interest, job related expenses such as unreimbursed mileage or uniforms, student loan interest, Retirement contributions, tax preparation fees, donations, and property tax.

Other items you may claim include:  medical payments (in excess of 7.5% of adjusted income), hybrid car purchases, home energy credits, adoption fees, health coverage credit, caring for a dependent other than a child, elderly or disabled credit, and tuition deductions.

Military members may be eligible to receive certain tax provisions that may enable them to qualify for earned income credit.

One thing to keep in mind is that you can also save money by choosing not to use the rapid refund service.  It costs more, and is not always quicker due to some banks place a hold on these funds for a few business days.  If you have a checking or savings account your refund can be deposited to your account in as little as one week at no extra cost. 

If you choose to electronically file your taxes, don't forget to print a completed copy of your return.   Remember to keep a copy of all deductions, expenses, and credits claimed to attach to your return for your records.