Tips for Tax Season

As we approach the end of January, W-2 forms are being mailed out or delivered to employees.

That means tax returns will be prepared for filing. While preparing taxes is an every year occurrence, things change in our lives that change what deductions we can and cannot claim.

One thing we can do is make sure we get every deduction for which we are eligible. Newscenter 11
talked with a tax professional at H&R Block about some tax tips, including the most commonly missed deduction.

"The most commonly missed deductions are the education credit. If you or your dependents are in college, there may be some deductions that you may qualify if your child is in college," said Avis Bell of H&R Block. "And also, if you're claiming, like your mom or your dad, there also may be some credits and deductions that may be associated with that, depending on your situation."

Those who are just out of college can also claim a deduction, once repayment of student loans begins.

"All the interest that you paid back, you can claim that," said Bell. "It's a front-line deduction, meaning it's taken directly off your annual gross income, and it's very beneficial."

If you are going to see a tax professional to have your taxes prepared, make sure you walk in the building with the proper documents so they can prepare your taxes more quickly.

"When you come in and have your taxes prepared, just bring in a valid picture ID, and all your documents that correspond to your taxes," Bell said. "These include your W-2s, or if you're self-employed, please have your expenses, and your expenses and income calculated."

Income tax forms must be postmarked by Tuesday, April 17. Those who need more time to file their returns should get an extension. But remember, if you owe money, the extension does not apply to that. You'll still need to send a check for the amount owed.

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