Taxes 101: Don't Overlook These Tax Credits, Deductions

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To claim this credit, you must complete Form 8880 – also known as the Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions. You can get the form, and instructions for calculating how large your credit will be, at www.irs.gov.

Q: Are their breaks for low-income earners?

A: Yes. Nearly 90 percent of Americans have benefited from the Making Work Pay tax credit, Hobson said.

She explained that this benefit reduces payroll taxes for eligible employees. Individual filers got an extra $400 per year and couples got twice that. To get the savings, you must claim the credit on your tax return using Schedule M.

Web-Extra Tips

Although you can deduct the value of items you donate to charity, you cannot deduct the value of any time or labor you may have given to a charity's project. You can also deduct 14 cents a mile for any driving you may have done for charitable work.

If you are divorced and pay alimony, you can deduct it from your taxes even if you do not itemize your deductions. If you receive alimony it is considered taxable income on your tax return.

When you're completing your tax forms, be careful. Simple errors -- such as putting your social security number down wrong -- could delay your refund. One of the best ways to prevent mistakes is to file your taxes electronically.

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