Tax Day is less than a month away. Consider these tips as you prepare your return.
Get credit for the EITC.
If you made less than $51,567 in 2013, you could be eligible for the earned income tax credit, which reduces what you owe and maybe allows a refund.
Save on taxes with a traditional IRA.
If you or your spouse don't have access to a pension or workplace retirement plan, you may get a deduction for a traditional IRA contribution.
Don't worry about moving to a higher bracket.
The tax system is graduated: the 39.6% tax bracket, for example, applies only to earned income above $400,001 for single taxpayers, $450,001 for those filing jointly.
Find job-hunting deductions.
If you're looking for a job, you can deduct the cost of searching – including driving to and from interviews (56.5 cents a mile) and employment agency fees.
Take care of child care.
If your child goes to day care, you can get a tax credit.
Save with energy savers.
If you put in new windows, bought a furnace or made other qualifying energy-saving home improvements, you could get a tax credit of up to $500.
Learn about educator expenses.
Qualified educators can deduct up to $250 for materials you buy for school.
Fight taxes with taxes.
You can deduct state sales tax — a good break for those in states without state income tax.
Get a charge from electric vehicles.
Qualifying plug-in electric cars can get up to a $7,500 tax credit.
Stay out of jail free.
Be honest on your return. Penalties can put you in a world of hurt.
Check out USA WEEKEND magazine's Best of Spring issue this weekend. USA WEEKEND is distributed in more than 750 newspapers across the USA. To get USA WEEKEND, contact your local newspaper.