Profitt Report: Here's how to make sure you get the biggest tax refund possible

Photo credit: MGN

You can procrastinate all you want, but sooner or later, you’ll have to face it: it’s tax season! Whether you do your taxes yourself or go to a professional, there are steps you can take right now to boost your chances of putting more cash in your pocket.

The one part of tax time that many look forward to is the reward after the work: a tax return.

You have two options when it comes to your taxes: you can take the standard deduction or choose to itemize. Here’s how it works: the standard deduction is a fixed dollar amount that reduces the amount of income you’re taxed on. It’s $6,350 for single and married taxpayers filing separately. For married couples filing jointly, it’s $12,700. Standard is simple, but could cost you.

“In Michigan, most people take the standard deduction,” said Luis Garcia, spokesperson with the IRS office in Detroit, “sometimes it makes more sense to itemize and take those deductions.”

If you choose to itemize, you can add up donations to charity, large uninsured medical and dental expenses, paid mortgage interest and real estate taxes on your home, and other qualifiers. If these add up to more than the standard deduction, it could be worth the extra effort.

“As long as you have the proof you've taken these expenses, these qualifying expenses, and they're deductible, take advantage of it,” Garcia said.

Regardless of which you choose, here’s what else you’ll need:

  • Your personal information, social security numbers and birth dates for you, your spouse and any dependents.
  • W-2 forms.
  • Any 10-99 forms
  • Alimony you’ve received and any miscellaneous income such as jury duty, gambling winnings, scholarships, etc.

For a complete list of items you may need, please click here.

The Profitt Report wants to hear from you - please send consumer questions and story ideas to ProfittReport@WSMH.com

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