If you do your own taxes, there is a good chance that youre missing out on some of the tax credits and deductions that are available to you. Most of the programs do a good job of asking the questions and getting you some of the credits, but an accountant can really dig deep and make sure you are getting all of the money that you deserve. Here are a few of the biggest ones that people miss.
Dependent Care Credits
If you have a child, or children, under the age of 13, you can get a tax credit for their childcare. Now this is limited to a certain percentage of your income, and capped out at a dollar amount, but you can likely recoup a significant portion of the amount you spend on childcare (depending on how much that care actually costs of course). You will never recoup the full amount, but every little bit helps.
Lifetime Learning Credits
The government wants you to be better educated. This means more highly educated workforce and a furthering economy. While the cost of tuition is skyrocketing, there is a glimmer of hope because you can get some of that money back. If you make less than $52,000 ($104,000 as a married couple), you can get back as much as $2,000 per year on eligible higher education expenses (check with an accountant what that actually means, you may even be able to deduct part of your room and board while in school).
Elderly Care Credits
There are a lot of hurdles to jump through in order to qualify for these credits. However, it is not impossible. If you are spending your time, money, and resources to care for an elderly family member, you can get some money back from the government. It all depends on how much THEY earn (social security, dividends and interest, and pensions are all factored in) and how much they pay in taxes. Your accountant and elderly care advisor can help you understand how to claim this credit.
The list could keep going, but that gives you an idea of what kind of deductions and credits are out there. Chances are if you are doing your own taxes, you arent maximizing what you can get back. If you are self employed, then you almost certainly arent maximizing your time or your tax refund. When the next tax season rolls around, hire an accountant. You will be surprised at how much more he or she can help you get back in your refund.