Maximize your Tax Refund

Now is the time to begin pulling together all those records you need at tax time to maximize your refund.  The biggest reason that people don't get more refund than they do is because they do not maintain good records (or know which records to bring to the tax preparer).  To help you get started, here is a helpful checklist of records you may want to get:

   Mileage:  Keep a log of mileage driven for: (record beginning and ending odometer, date, destination and purpose).  Keep a notebook in your car for ready use.
o   Medical
o   Charitable volunteering
o   Business
   Childcare:  Records needed for Child and Dependent Care Credit
o   Name, Address and Tax ID for childcare provider
o   Receipts for childcare expenses paid
   Education: 
o   Keep receipts for education related expenses - several credits available - some are refundable.
   Medical:
o   Keep receipts for out of pocket medical expenses
o   Keep records for medical premiums paid
o   Obtain a report of prescription costs from pharmacy
   Housing:
o   Keep records for mortgage interest and points
   Tax:
o   Keep documentation of personal property tax paid
o   Real estate taxes
   Contribute to your Retirement:
o   Retirement Contributions through 401K reduce your taxable income
o   Contributions to IRA are reported on tax return to reduce your taxable income
Saver's Credit can return up to 1/2 of your retirement contribution to you at tax time.
   Evaluate your W-4:
o   If you received a large refund, you may want to reduce your exemptions
o   If you had to pay last year, you may want to increase your exemptions