Tax Refund

Valentine’s Day is here! And besides celebrating that we only have one month of winter left, there are a couple of other things we can celebrate – including taxes.

Yeah, you read that right – tax season is upon us as well, and with it a great opportunity to give our finances a big bump. 

And if you’re single, you may be anticipating hanging out with your lady crew for Galentine’s Day. 

It’s a day that’s literally leaped from TV to real life, but it can also be special if you use it as an opportunity to celebrate some financial wins together like knocking out your taxes and maximizing your tax refunds! 

Winning with Your Taxes

Right away, you have an advantage – instead of waiting for both sets of W-2s, 1099s, and other financial documents like many couples have to do, you can file as soon as yours arrivesWith less paperwork, you will have less to gather, so you can get started filing your taxes and get closer to your tax refund which is a win in our books! 

To celebrate all the wonderful single ladies (and gentlemen), here are a few key ways you can capitalize on your tax benefits and hopefully maximize your tax refund!

Make Sure Your Status is Correct

One of the first steps you need to make when filing taxes is to make sure you’re using the right filing status. 

The IRS has five main categories – single, married (filing separately), married (filing jointly), head of household, and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. 

Why is this important? Basically, your standard deduction, your tax, and certain tax credits and deductions you can claim are all based on your filing status.

For those filing single, the current standard deduction is $12,950. 

If you’re head of household, though, you can have a bigger financial win here because your standard deduction is $19,400. To qualify for this status you have to be both single and supporting a dependent. 

The Magic of 401(k)s and IRAs

With your status in the right spot, you can now focus on reviewing your accounts. Some of them  – like your 401(k) – can be fantastic wins for you because of their tax benefits. 

If you’ve been contributing to your company’s 401(k) you’re doing your current and future self a favor. One, your contributions are pre-tax, which lowers your taxable income now. Two, your investments can grow tax-free. 

You get the same benefits with your traditional IRA, so if you have more room in your budget, open one up and start setting yourself up for a sweet and fantastic retirement later! You can also make a 2022 IRA contribution up to $6,000 ($7,000 50 and older), up until the tax deadline and may be able to take a tax deduction on your 2022 taxes. Just make sure you tell your plan administrator that it is a 2022 contribution.

Grab Big Wins with Family and Dependent Credits

Raising kids can be pricey, especially for single parents, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some big tax benefits with them now. 

For families who meet the income limits, the Earned Income Tax Credit can be a wonderful benefit as it is a credit that can lower the taxes you owe dollar for dollar and may qualify you for a refund. If you have 3 or more kids, the credit can be up to $6,935.

Daycare is a huge expense for many parents, but you may be able to offset some of that by taking the Child and Dependent Care Credit. The Child and Dependent Care Credit can be up to 35% of your expenses up to $3,000 ($1,050) for one child under 13 and up to 35% of your expenses up to $6,000 ($2,100) for two children under 13.

If you have a qualifying child under 17, you may also be able to claim the Child Tax Credit, which is up to $2,000. What makes this a wonderful benefit is that it’s a credit, not a deduction. The credit is  refundable up to $1,400 – meaning that you are eligible for the credit even if you don’t owe taxes.

With a deduction, you’re lowering your taxable income. With tax credits, you’re lowering your taxes dollar for dollar. 

Your Take on Tax Deductions

We hope these tips help you get all the tax deductions and credits you qualify for. If you have any questions about whether or not you qualify, TurboTax can make things much easier! TurboTax asks you simple questions about you and gives you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for.

Besides the easy-to-use interview-style software, there is also a live option where you can meet with a TurboTax Expert who can prepare, sign and file your taxes, so you can be 100% confident your taxes are done right. Start TurboTax Live Full Service today, in English or Spanish, and get your taxes done and off your mind. 

We’d love to hear from you – what tax deductions and credits will you be claiming this year?

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Elle Martinez
Elle Martinez

Elle helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second. More from Elle Martinez

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