Tax Refunds: Getting the most out of your return

Tax Refunds: Getting the most out of your return

Many people are already filing their tax returns. There are simple ways to get the most out of your refund that really add up.

Cedrick Ingram, like many people, is anxious to get his tax return. That's why he's doing it early this year.

Getting your taxes done on time doesn't have to be a taxing job.

"Trying to get paid. Give me my money. Give me my refund," says Ingram.

Erik Ricci is the Cleveland area manager for Jackson Hewitt. He says ignoring the IRS is the worst thing you can do.
Having your documents ready, like a state issued ID, before you see an accountant makes their job easier and saves you time in the seat.

"If you have children, their social security cards, any document that would have any source of income, W2s, bank statements, mortgage statements," says Ricci.
Ricci says make sure you go over any changes you may have had in the past year with your tax preparer, like a new job or baby. There may be situations you can write off that you didn't even consider. For example, a $10 co-pay on your prescriptions, property taxes, and charitable donations.

"These are all little things that if you can result in either a lower payment to the IRS or bigger refund for you,"" explains Ricci.

Most importantly, don't wait until the last minute. It could mean interest, penalties, and garnished wages. Ricci says as long as you file by April 15, in most cases, you have time to make arrangements for a payment plan with the IRS.

As for Ingram, he's filed and now just counts the days until he gets his return.
"I'm not going to spend nothing. I just need some money in my pocket for the kids," says Ingram.
The most common filing mistakes are not signing your return and putting the wrong name on the tax form.
Experts say you should keep your tax documents for at least three years.

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