What Type of Tax Preparer Are You?

Do you do your taxes yourself or have someone do them for you?  Do you have all your paperwork neatly filed and ready to go or are you scrambling to remember where you put that donation receipt from last January’s fundraiser?  No matter how you do your taxes everyone has one thing in common: We would all love to know how we can get more money back from the government.

There are some things you can deduct from your taxes that you may not have known about.  We all know we can deduct charitable donations.  But did you know that a charitable donation does not have to be limited to just a monetary donation?  All those bags of clothes you put in the drop-boxes at your supermarket’s parking lot count.  The canned goods you brought to your local community food pantry can be deducted as well.  

Just make sure you can verify that you actually did those things.  When dropping off those clothes, check the drop-box for a phone number.  You can call and ask for a receipt for the bags you dropped off.  And the food pantry can certainly give you a receipt as well.

Did you receive any insurance benefits last year?  If you filed a claim on any of your insurance policies and received money, ask your insurance agent if you need to declare that money as taxable income.  In some cases, you may have to, but in others you might be home free. It depends on how your premiums were paid and whether or not the government decides to declare the money taxable.

Hopefully you will walk away from filing your tax return with a smile on your face and still have some money in your pocket.  Best of luck to you during this tax season!


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