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By:  Cecile Anthony-Bryan

As we know, everyone looks forward to tax season.  For some people, it means no taxes for a week of shopping and/or possible money coming back which equals a slight financial burden off your shoulder, just to name a few.  We are always unsure what to claim and what not to claim.  Do your research, ask a few questions and/or speak to a tax professional.  Below are 10 things to know before filing your taxes:

  1. If you have to file, the earlier the better. Do not wait until the last-minute.
  2. Be honest. Sometimes that little extra costs you a lot more down the road.
  3. Keep good records, it works out better for you. Even if you are not sure, keep it anyway.  You will be amazed at what you can actually claim on your taxes.
  4. If you are unable to file your taxes, do yourself a favor and request an extension.
  5. Unless necessary or qualified, try to avoid doing your taxes yourself.
  6. Owning a house, being a working parent, being self-employed and/or using your vehicle for business, gives you a few extra expenses to claim.
  7. Did you know you can possibly collect from losing lotto tickets/scratch offs, losses at the casino? Save them up and ask your tax person.
  8. Howe crowded and filled with unused clothes or other items? Donate them.  Charitable contributions are tax-deductible.
  9. If your home was struck by a natural disaster for which federal aid was issued, you could be eligible to deduct uninsured costs you paid in getting your life back together.
  • New Job? Moving? You can deduct what you spend packing and moving your belongings, as well as some costs for storage, insurance, transportation, and lodging associated with the move. There is no limit to the deduction, but your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your home than your old job.