5 Ways to Maximize Your Tax Refund

Though the deadline to file taxes in the U.S. has long since passed, many taxpayers are still postponing the inevitable, having filed for extensions on their 2014 taxes. Then there are those who are trying to get a head start on next year’s filing, putting all their paperwork in order and estimating how much they’ll get back from Uncle Sam. Whether you are still working on your 2014 taxes or planning ahead, there’s one thing on every taxpayer’s mind – how to maximize their tax refund.

If you’ve got refund fever and are tired of your returns coming up short, no matter how many times you crunch your numbers, here are a few helpful tips that will help you max out on your next tax return.

  • Contribute to a charity. If you didn’t already know, charitable donations can be claimed on your income tax and are a great way to boost your return. The IRS actually lets taxpayers deduct up to 50% of their taxable income in charitable contributions to tax-exempt organizations, including religious and community groups, non-profit organizations, hospitals, and more. So go ahead, do a good deed because it will do you some good as well!
  • Claim your work expenses. Any job-related expenses that your boss doesn’t already deduct can be deducted from your taxable income as well. Pencils, paper, printer ink, paperclips, you name it! You can also tack on cell phone expenses, internet costs, any amount of money you spend on uniforms, and even mileage you spend traveling to meet clients – along with client-related dinners.
  • Track family-related costs. Several out-of-pocket family expenses can also be deducted. Do you have a young child in day care? Day care costs are tax deductible. Got an elderly loved on in nursing care? Yep, you can claim that too. You can even claim a portion of your family’s medical expenses, like prescription costs and hospital bills that aren’t covered by your health insurance provider.
  • Relocation reimbursements. Have you recently moved or are planning on relocating? Guess what? You may be able to claim a portion of those expenses on your tax filing. And here’s the best part – not only can you deduct moving expenditures related to a job change, but you can also claim costs associated with relocating your pet! Fido and Mr. Mittens are technically considered “personal effects”, so don’t hesitate to keep track of any money you may have spent moving your four-legged friends.
  • Consult with a tax lawyer. This one’s a no-brainer. Tax lawyers know the ins-and-outs of IRS operations and can help you maximize your refund without even blinking. If you are unsure as to what you can or cannot deduct on your income tax filing, turn to an experienced tax attorney for assistance. Not only will they uncover deductions you might never have even thought of, but they’ll do it legally so you won’t have to worry about IRS agents knocking on your door demanding payment for unlawful deductions.

The IRS can take a pretty penny from our pay checks throughout the year. However, staying informed about the many items you can deduct from your taxable income can help you maximize your return and ensure you do not miss out on taxable expenditures.