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10 Tax Tips & Hacks to Save You Money

bethaney_wallace profile picture
January 31, 2017 · 5.1k Views

people doing taxes

Source: TurboTax - Intuit

There are those of us who are "number people" and there are those of us who run and hide at the very mention of getting taxes done. Like with any type of specialty, there are those who have different areas and talents, and oftentimes the biggest talent of them all is understanding how and why your efforts are misplaced – as well as when they are most likely to succeed.

No matter where you are on the spectrum of numbers, however, there are plenty of universal tax tips that apply to all. Check out these sure-fire areas for write-offs when prepping your taxes for an easier, less stressed way to file your documents to the IRS. Don't forget that this year's tax deadline is on Tuesday, April 18th!

lightbulb icon Be sure to use today's best TurboTax coupons and H&R Block coupon codes for up to $40 off tax services this year. Currently, TurboTax is offering an additional 10% off their popular tax software for a limited time only (only on DealsPlus!). With the applicable discounts, you can save up to 40% off their original price.


1. Donations


Source: Asissted Learning Centre

Throughout the course of the year, there are likely many people or organizations that you've donated to. Whether in cash or goods (yes cleaning out the garage and giving leftovers to Goodwill counts), all of these count as tax-deductible donations. Travel expenses while volunteering are also fair game. Be sure to list them on your returns in order to get the maximum returns possible.


2. Earned Income Tax

Often shortened to the EITC, or the Earned Income Tax Credit, this area of refunds is one of the most overlooked forms out there. Likely, that's because it benefits those who earn lower wages, meaning they might not file returns, or who stick to the basics when filling out paperwork. However, the EITC can allow for a lower amount to be paid into taxes, or even put funds back in your pocket.


3. Child care costs

child care

Source: Main Line Health Fitness & Wellness Center

Paying for daycare can get pretty pricey, especially when there's a family of multiple young kids. In fact, it's so pricey that many families max out their deductions early into the year. However, that doesn't mean you can't still squeeze out every penny possible. Claim these dollars on your yearly tax returns in order to save on the funds you've already spent.


4. Retirement

If you put money away for your future, you might just be in luck. Not only did you have the wherewithal to do some extra planning, you can avoid paying taxes on those dollars just for saving them away. Even better, you can opt out of paying taxes on those same funds once you pull them out of your account.

lightbulb iconHere’s a bonus tip: you’ll avoid paying taxes on your earned interest, too!


5. Career expenses


Source: US News Money - Us News & World Report

When you're self-employed, you can write off an extremely high percentage that would otherwise go toward earned income. Even those who are employed by others, however, can benefit from this same mantra. Write down every dollar spent on work clothes, supplies, accessories, etc. to avoid paying taxes on money that went toward work items.


6. Green updates

If you made updates to your home, you're likely eligible for some tax-free expenses. Especially when upgrades helped make your home more energy efficient (which, bonus, will help save on utilities). Be sure to check for available write-offs to see if your remodeling upgrades made the cut.


7. Learning credits


Source: CollegeGrad

Did you go back to school? Make payments on your student loans? These fees and more can account for some serious write-offs. Take note of each education-based expense and, at the end of the year, you're bound to have an incredible number.


8. Mileage

If you have a business, even if it's just on the side, you can save big on every single mile you drive. Be sure to keep track of each trip or errand to knock off a huge fee at the end of the year.


9. Moving


Source: Time

If you've moved this past year, the IRS feels your pain! You can earn a huge write off. Add up fuel, truck rental fees, and more and submit with your tax returns. For those who moved long distances, this can account for a huge level of dollars and is worth every penny spent.


10. State sales tax

Thanks to an upgrade by Congress, citizens can choose how they wish to do their income taxes. By either picking state and local incomes taxes or state and local taxes, allowing states that don't have an income tax to still take advantage of this huge deduction. However, some have yet to take the government up on the offer. Don't miss out on this deduction upgrade that could save you thousands.


All in all, filing taxes doesn't have to be a complete nightmare. The best thing to do is look back on your credit card statements, save every receipt for everything you've purchased in the year, find an easy-to-use tax software or accountant, and you'll be sure to maximize your tax return. And check back at DealsPlus to stay updated with the best deals, coupons, shopping news, and finance tips so you continue to save money year round.

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bethaney_wallace profile picture
Bethaney Wallace is a full-time freelance writer and avid deal finder located in the Midwest. When she's not reading or writing, she can be found looking for a new project, including anything knitted or DIY, which she outlines in her humorous personal blog, Earl & Other Greys. (bethaneywallace.com)