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Tax Options that Could Save You Money?

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - The tax clock is ticking, yet one out of five tax payers still hasn't filed their taxes.
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - The tax clock is ticking yet one out of five tax payers still hasn't filed their taxes.

Many of these late filers may be due a refund. This year, the average is about $2,800 hundred dollars.

Yet millions of taxpayers will likely wind up leaving money on the table.

Lynn Ebel and H&R Block Tax Attorney says, "We looked at just people who did their own tax returns and we found that nearly half of them had inaccuracies. And there was about 1 in 5 of those returns they actually left about $500 on the table."

It's not just a missed signature or typo on a social security number. Last year, taxpayers failed to claim one billion dollars of deductions to which they were entitled, according to H and R Block. And the same could happen again this tax season.

There are money-saving tax strategies that you may be able to take advantage of for the last time. Tax professionals are keeping a close eye on tax provisions called 'extenders'.

Ebel Explains, "The extenders is essentially a bundle of tax provisions which are not permanent, so they would have to be extended for people to claim year after year. They've been extended 4 times out of the last 7 years but at this point, some of the really popular tax breaks, 2013 may be the last year to claim them"

These tax breaks impact millions of students, teachers, homeowners, and other taxpayers.

2013 may be the last opportunity for filers to claim deductions for:

- college tuition and fees
- teacher's expenses
- mortgage insurance premiums
- State and local sales taxes

There are some new options that have come this tax season.

If you're self-employed and work out of your home, there's an easier way to claim a home office deduction on your 2013 taxes. Measure the square footage of your home office and multiply that by five dollars, up to a maximum of three hundred square feet or fifteen hundred dollars.

And while charitable deductions aren't new tax breaks - this way to claim one is often overlooked.

Elda Di Re of Earnest and Young says, " If are doing volunteer work and you're driving around to do that volunteer work, you actually get a mileage deduction."

And if you're a very late filer and you haven't filed your 2010 return, April 15 is the final deadline. The government is holding 760 million dollars in unclaimed refunds.

But after the 15th, that money becomes property of the United States Treasury.

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