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How to get the most from your tax refund

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Posted at 1:31 PM, Apr 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-14 14:53:15-04

NORFOLK, Va. - We are just days away from the tax deadline.

This year, experts are warning that you may get less of a refund than previous years and may even owe the government money.

Vivian J. Paige, a CPA and professor at Christopher Newport University said, in particular, it could be because of the Advanced Tax Credit for children.

"That one alone could create a situation where you might get less money back then you got before. Understand you only got half that credit up front, the other half is supposed to come in order to get for it to get it you have to file your return," Paige said. "You have to also consider the folks who perhaps did not get that last economic stimulus payment that came in March. So if they haven't gotten that, they didn't get it last year, then they file their returns this year to get that as well. If they're eligible for it, not everybody's eligible."

If you do still have to file, here are some ways that tax experts said you can make the most out of it:

  • Properly claim children and dependents because the credits are substantially larger this year.
  • Reconsider your filing status. Turbo-tax said in some unique cases, i.e., a spouse has a lot of medical complications, it may make more sense to be Married Filing Separately.
  • Embrace tax deductions like charitable donations, state sales tax and student loan interest.

Paige said, "The big takeaway is making sure that you understand that if you cannot file by Monday, you can file an extension. The extension is an automatic extension so it's good for six months, however, an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay."

The deadline to file is Monday, April 18 at midnight.

Free tax help is also available in Hampton Roads. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify.

Click here to find a location near you.