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April 15th is right around the corner! If that date doesn’t ring a bell, April 15th is the deadline for filing your income tax return.
Although the tax filing process can be stressful, there is nothing better than seeing a return check in the mail. Whether you will be securing your refund in a savings account, paying down outstanding debt, or treating yourself with your bonus windfall, you’re probably hoping to earn back enough to meet your financial goals. Make the most of your income tax return this year!
Here are 7 hidden ways to boost your tax return:
- Organization is Key – Whether you are filing your income taxes individually, or working with a tax professional, having all of the necessary tax documents organized and accounted for (pun intended) will allow you to more easily file your taxes. Our tax preparation checklist to help you tackle tax season and track your expenses and income year-round!
- Invest in Your Future– Contributions to a qualifying retirement plan can reduce your taxable income, while also preparing and securing your financial future. You have until April 15th, 2019 to contribute to your IRA and still apply towards your 2018 return. After-tax contributions made to a Health Savings Account or “HSA” will also work to reduce your taxable income. Learn more about HSA’s in our recent post!
- Education Tax Breaks- If you attended an educational institution, you may be able to significantly reduce your taxable income by claiming education credits and deductions. Qualifying taxpayers can utilize the tuition and fees deduction to remove up to $4,000 in tuition expenses from their income when filing. The American Opportunity tax credit and the Lifetime Learning credit provide additional opportunities to maximize your income tax return.
- Selecting the Right Tax Filing Status- As a married couple, there are benefits and drawbacks to filing jointly versus filing separately. If you or your partner acquired a lot of medical expenses throughout the year, filing separately may reduce the total of the adjusted gross income of that individual. Although filing separately may require additional effort, the end result could pay off for your added time. Consult with a tax professional to identify which option is best for you.
- Maximize Your Deductions— Tax deductions are subtracted from your income before you figure the amount of tax you owe. Maintaining diligent records through the year can help you track and itemize your deductions as tax time rolls around. For example, the mileage you drive for charitable or medical purposes, monetary or in-kind charitable contributions, student loan interest, and mortgage interest deductions are all opportunities to maximize your deductibles and boost your tax return. Find out if you are eligible for tax deductions here.
- Credits: Don’t leave money on the table by shying away from tax credits. These are subtracted from the amount of taxes you owe. There are a number of qualifying tax credits that allow you to reduce your taxes dollar-for-dollar and help you make the most of your return. Tax credits range from categories such as family and dependents, income savings, homeowner, health care, and education. View a full list of individual tax credits on the IRS website.
- Work with a Professional- Some projects are better left to the professionals. When it comes to understanding the intricacies of tax laws and finding strategic solutions to increase your income tax return, working with a tax can relieve the stress of filing and help put more money back in your pocket. Our proactive approach allows clients to take advantage of all the credits and deductions available and to anticipate the tax implications of their decisions throughout the tax year.
Save even more this tax season! Duncan Financial Group is offering 15% off for new tax clients!
Contact one of our tax specialists today to redeem!
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