It does not matter who you ask, most people will agree that tax season is the most confusing and stressful time of the year. As such, many people (especially those who are expecting little to no refund) wait until the last minute to file. However, you can maximize your refund and make tax season a great time of the year if you follow the useful tips listed below.
Deductions for Charitable Donations
If you donated any money or items to charitable organizations during the year, you can take advantage of deductions for these donations. You can also deduct any expenses you incurred while working for a charitable organization or fundraiser. These expenses can include such things as food items for a fundraiser, fuel costs to and from non-profit events and parking or toll fees.
Job Search Deductions
Another great way to make your tax refund larger is to take advantage of job search deductions. If you were unemployed at any time during the year and were searching for work, you can deduct such job search-related costs as business cards, resume services and employment agency fees.
You can even deduct travel expenses incurred while traveling to and from potential employers as long as you were looking for employment in your regular line of work. Furthermore, if you had to travel outside of your hometown, you may be able to deduct such things as food, lodging, parking fees, cab fares and toll charges.
State Sales Taxes and Income Taxes
When filing your federal income tax return, you typically have the choice to deduct either your state income or state sales tax. You can choose whichever one you think will give you the largest refund on your return. If your state does not require income taxes, do not fret! Simply choose the state sales tax instead. If your state does have income tax requirements, use the IRS’ tax calculator to determine what numbers will give you the largest tax deduction.
Hire a Professional
While many people think that they will save money by doing their taxes on their own, an experienced professional can get you a bigger refund than you ever imagined. Tax professionals know about all of the newest tax laws and deductions that can maximize your refund.
Furthermore, experienced tax professionals often find deductions and credits that you may not even know existed. Additionally, most tax services are willing to file your taxes for you and deduct their fees from your refund. In this way, you do not need to pay any money up front.
Opt for Electronic Filing
Finally, after having your taxes done, choose electronic filing. When you choose electronic filing, your refund will be deposited directly into your checking or savings account. In fact, you can even have your refund transferred to an approved debit card if you wish. Electronic filing is a very safe way to get your refund. In most cases, you can get your money in two weeks or less.
Tax season does not have to be a dreaded time of the year, especially if you use these valuable tips. With that said, follow this useful guide the next time you do your taxes, and you may enjoy a larger tax refund than ever before.
Jayson Mullin is a partner at the tax resolution company Top Tax Defenders. They help prepare taxes for filers who have back tax issues with the IRS.