As any taxpayer is aware, there are a lot of moving parts to consider when filing your tax return. The amount you owe or receive from the IRS can vary widely, depending on the steps that are taken when preparing the return. It can seem overwhelming to think about it, so we’ve compiled a few helpful tax tidbits to consider that could help you give less of your hard-earned money to Uncle Sam:
Consider all the possible deductions
. A recent article outlined 10 deductions that are commonly overlooked
, causing taxpayers to leave behind refunds that are rightfully theirs. The list includes child care, charity and retirement contributions (it’s not too late to make one for the 2013 tax year!).
Avoid costly mistakes.
There are precautions to take now to avoid paying unnecessary penalties and costs later. For example, did you know that if you make a charitable donation of more than $250, you’re required to have a receipt from the organization at the time you claim the donation? A recent article explains this and six other blunders taxpayers should be careful not to commit
Contribute to an IRA.
It might seem counterintuitive to be parting with money to put it into a retirement account, but consider this: Not only will you be helping to set up your financial future, but you’re likely receiving tax advantages in the process. Depending on whether you have a traditional or Roth IRA, you could be eligible for a tax reduction on your 2013 tax return
(it’s not too late).
Here is a bonus article
: “7 ways to avoid an IRS audit
As always, consult with your tax professional for advice on your specific situation.