If you’re already thinking about getting a jump on the busy tax season, you’re definitely in luck. A lot of people are going to be looking at their taxes before the holidays are over, because it’s one of the few times a year where you actually have time to think about your taxes in a bigger way than normal. You have time off work to relax, enjoy family, and return to work slowly. If you’re thinking about the tax refund that’s right around the corner, don’t worry — you truly are in great company. Everyone’s thinking about how big their refund is going to be, and how they can make it even bigger.
Well, the truth here is that the refund isn’t extra money — it’s been your money all along. The IRS has just been holding onto it for you, and that means that it’s an overpayment. So you want to make sure that you file your taxes as soon as possible so you can get your refund back faster. It’s completely up to you to figure out what you’re going to do in terms of your taxes, but the time is right to start early.
It’s been said that the average refund was about $3,000, which is always a good thing. So, here are a few things that you can do to increase the size of the check you get from the IRS.
You can always insulate your home and make it more energy efficient. You just need to make sure that you keep records of all of your upgrades. You can get 10% of the total cost, up to a max of $500.
If you have a child in college already but you haven’t done the American Opportunity Tax Credit, pay the spring tuition as soon as possible before Dec 31st. This will give you $2,500 per student for the first four years of college.
If you have flexibility over your income, you might want to try to delay some of your income until 2012. That way you will still have it coming, but you won’t have to pay taxes on it yet. If you know that your tax bracket will stay the same, this is definitely a good idea.
You also want to make sure that you take advantage of deductions ahead of time. For example, if you know that you have to pay state income taxes in January, you might as well do it now. This means that you would be able to deduct them on your 2011 tax return, which is always a good thing.
Getting medical stuff done before the end of the year is also a good idea. However, you have to make sure that your expenses exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
Donating to charity is also a good way to reduce your tax bill. You can deduct the amount from your taxes — just make sure that you actually keep your receipt.
These are just a few different ways to boost your tax refund so that it’s a little bigger next year. As always, make sure that you have the appropriate receipts before you plunge into things. It’s the best way to make sure that you move ahead properly. Good luck out there, and happy refunds should be on their way to you soon!