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by Laura Hendrix - January 29, 2018
Tax Preparation: Paid tax preparation costs an average of $300. If using a paid service, make sure
that it is reputable. For complicated returns, a paid tax preparation service or accountant
may be the best option. However, most consumers can use a low-cost or no-cost option.
If you are fairly computer savvy and your taxes are straight forward, you may want
to file your taxes online with MyFreeTaxes. If you would rather have someone help
you prepare them, visit the IRS website to find your closest free tax preparation site. Free tax volunteers are trained and
certified each year by the IRS to ensure accuracy.Tax Credits: Tax credits can lower the amount you pay or increase your refund. The Earned Income
Tax Credit (EITC), in particular, is an important credit to lookout for. Many families
who qualify for the EITC can also claim the Child Tax Credit. If you or your child
are in college, you may qualify for The American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime
Learning Credit.Save your refund: Plan now to use your refund wisely. Use form 8888 to have your refund deposited directly
into your bank account. You can designate up to 3 accounts; so, part of your refund
can go into your checking account and part can go into your savings account. If you
have high interest debts, paying those debts first helps avoid losing money to interest
payments. Additional money can be saved for an emergency fund in a savings account
or put into retirement.
Enter the Save Your Refund contest for a chance to win one of 100 prizes of $100 each. The grand prize winner will receive
a cash prize of $35,000. https://saveyourrefund.aarpfoundation.org/
• 2016 IRS Data Book. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/16databk.pdf• My Free Taxes. https://www.myfreetaxes.com• Internal Revenue Service. https://www.irs.gov