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How to maximize your tax refund with tax credits

Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-13 00:19:12-05

It's that time of year again when it comes to filing taxes and there can be many credits you didn't know applied to you.

"A lot of people they don't know there is a lot of credits and deductions that you can take advantage of," said Maria Jose Swailem, an H&R Block senior tax specialist.

When Swailem helps customers file their taxes she says the first thing to look for is withholdings.

"I always look at the income and the withholdings so I can have an idea if that particular tax payer is going to owe or is going to have a refund," she said.

Swailem says if you withhold more through the year, the IRS will take more taxes and in return give you a bigger refund. 

When it comes to tax credits, there is a long list to look out for.

Here are the top three: family and dependents, education and retirement.

There are credits for your children, the elderly or disabled. 

Having one dependent can credit you three-thousand dollars.

The education credit is for people who have kids beyond high school. You can claim them until they are 24-years-old and write off anything from their books, computer and school supplies. 

If you have younger children that go to daycare, that can be a credit too. 

"When you pay out of pocket you are entitled to get that credit and you just have to get a statement from the daycare how much you paid through the whole year and you just bring that to us and you can get that credit back to you," she said. 

A retirement credit is for people who have an adjusted gross income under 30-thousand dollars. This credit can save you up to $1,000 if you're single and $2,000 for married couples. 

"In one year a lot of things can happen," she said. "You know, in one year you can get married, one year you can get divorced, one year you can have a baby, in one year your high school kid went to college so we do have to have this interview to really like ask as much as we can to see what deductions and what kind of credits the taxpayers are entitled for."

One of the biggest tips though, she advises filing early so criminals don't have a chance to steal your information.