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It’s tax season again and we all know what that means: STRESS! Digging through receipts, organizing bills, and trying to decide which expenses can be deducted or not can be very time consuming and confusing. We all want as much as we can get back from the government when it comes to our taxes.

So how do you get the most out of your tax return? That is the question on everyone’s mind!

Check out these 4 tips for increasing your tax refund:

1. Get a tax professional

It’s easy to rely on free online services such as TurboTax or HR Block to file your own taxes. But because tax laws change so frequently, it’s really smart to pay a tax professional to help you discover which deductions, filing status, and credits will work in your favor. Sometimes spending $100-$500 to hire a tax professional can increase your refund by $1,000+, which is well worth the investment.

2. Educate yourself on deductible expenses

A great way to increase your tax refund is to spend more dollars on items that are deductible. The eligible deductions can include, but are not limited to, donations to charitable organizations, school tuition, certain business expenses, mortgage interest and property taxes, healthcare costs, and home improvement projects. These little things can add up!

Is There a Tax Credit for Health Insurance?

Yes! You can qualify for the Affordable Care Act tax credit if your income is low enough. Research “Obamacare tax credit”, or just contact us for your situation. Even if you don’t qualify for the lower premium with the ACA, we can find you a less expensive health insurance rate.

3. Consider your filing status

Most people don’t think twice about the options they have when choosing a filing status. It seems logical to file as married-filing-jointly if married and individual if single. However, it’s important to research all the options for filing statuses and try them on for size if your tax professional or tax prep software allow you to do. Changing your filing status can sometimes provide great rewards!

4. Contribute extra towards your IRA

While most financial decisions made at this point are too late to affect your tax return, contributing to IRAs are one exception. If you contribute any extra money (within your allowable limit for max contributions for the year) to your traditional IRA or Roth IRA by April 15, 2015, the deposits can be applied to your 2014 refund.

Again, it’s a wise decision to consult a tax professional when looking to get the most out of your tax return since the tax regulations change all the time. But, if you are braving the tax refund world on your own, considering these 4 tips can definitely help you maximize your refund!