How to Get the Most Out of Your Tax Return
Software and tax preparers are ready to help
Forget about winter, spring or even summer. For most people tax season is the one that really matters. And with Alaskans racing to get their returns, how can you make sure you are getting the most out of them?
With the deadline to get your W-2's January 31, almost half of America will file their taxes within the next two weeks to get what they hope is a hefty tax return. It’s an important goal experts say means checking every option before you file.
\Welcome to tax season – and whether you're inside or outside, the chance to get a return is bringing in the crowds. “We're open 24 hours a day right now it’s just a busy time of year,” said Michael Debenham, who is a franchise owner of three of the Liberty Tax Service businesses in town. “A lot of people are coming in.”
Accountants are expecting swarms of Alaskans who are depending on both free and paid services to figure out exactly how much they can get back. And while there are plenty of options out there, the IRS says using one of its free filing systems works the best. “We find that electronically filing using electronic software is a lot more accurate and efficient and will often provide people with a refund much faster than filing a paper return,” said David Tucker, a spokesperson for the IRS.
That's not necessarily true, says Debenham, who says while programs like TurboTax do work, it’s not a guarantee that your return will be right.
“We see 4,000 tax returns go through this office; we know if its done right,” said Debenham. “We guarantee the work, we know if there [are] additional deductions you can find.”
You can find deductions related to college, daycare and even in the number of people you take care of. Experts say it's important to take advantage of things like earned income credit. Last year 45,000 Alaskans claimed it and got back a total of $86.5 million dollars.
“For people who make anywhere from zero to about $29,000 they should qualify for earned income credit if they have children on their tax return,” said Debenham. “That could be anywhere from $10 to about $5,000.”
Experts say there are plenty of refund dollars out there as long as you file your taxes correctly and get the proper deductions. And if you’re a procrastinator, you even have two extra days to file because the deadline, due to a holiday, is Tuesday April 17.
For more information please go to www.irs.gov.