The deadline is fast approaching to file your tax return and there are a few things you should know first.
It's that time of year again: tax time. But before you fill out your return, there are a few things you need to know to get the biggest refund.
Many people wonder whether they should itemize their deductions.
Jackson Hewitt CEO Mike Lister said, "Itemized deductions include things like mortgage interest, property taxes, but it also includes a number of other items when you add them all up... Like state and local income tax, medical expenses, charitable contributions, even tax preparation fees. So, when you add up all your itemized deductions, and that amount is larger than your standard deduction, then you itemize, because that will give you the bigger benefit."
Have you recently renovated your home? You might be able to get a few extra deductions thanks to a new law.
"About a year ago, the energy tax law was passed that enabled us to take tax credits for energy efficient purchases we make to our home. So it's not just for cars and solar heaters, it can also be for exterior doors and windows and insulation that can add hundreds of dollars to your tax refund," Lister said.
And don't forget about this year's one-time phone tax credit.
Jackson Hewitt VP Mark Steber said, "If you've owned a phone for the last three years, whether it be a cell phone, land phone, fax machine, internet service, you'll qualify for the telephone tax refund this year."
And make sure to come prepared when you meet with your tax professional.
You'll need to bring:
- Your w-2 forms
- 10-99 interest and dividend forms
- Deduction documents related to charitable contributions
- receipts from deductible purchases.
You can mail in a check, automatically transfer the money from you bank account, or pay with a credit card.