Here’s How to Get Your Maximum Tax Refund This Year

profile Current Team  |  February 20, 2024

If you’re like most Americans, you may be expecting a tax refund when you file your 2023 taxes this year. And knowing the tax breaks available to you can help you claim your maximum refund.

It’s important to make sure you claim every eligible deduction and credit you can to boost your refund. The IRS will let you know if you underpay your taxes, but they won’t automatically correct your refund amount if you’re underpaid.

Here are five steps to help you get your maximum refund:

1. Get to know common tax credits and deductions 

There are a variety of tax breaks you might be eligible to claim to lower your tax liability and potentially boost your refund. Tax credits lower your tax bill, and if they’re refundable, they can also increase your refund. Tax deductions, on the other hand, lower your taxable income.

Some common tax credits are available for parents, students, and those who invested in energy efficient purchases.

If you’re a parent or guardian, you might be eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit for up to $2,000 per eligible dependent. You could also qualify to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit for up to $3,000 for one child or $6,000 if you have two or more children or dependents. And if you adopted a child in 2023, you may be able to claim the Adoption Credit to increase your refund. 

If you’re a student or parent who paid for college or post-secondary school costs, you might be able to claim either the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit. Teachers may also be able to deduct Educator Expenses, including the costs of classroom supplies they purchased for their students in 2023.

2. Select the right filing status

How you choose to file your taxes can also impact the size of your refund. If you’re married, you may receive a bigger refund by filing a joint tax return. 

Joint filers usually receive higher income thresholds for certain tax breaks, such as the deduction for contributing to an IRA. If you're married and file separately, you may face a higher tax rate and pay more tax. Filing separately may be a benefit if you have a large amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses

But this isn’t always the case. For example, filing separately may be a benefit if you have a large amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses. If one partner’s income is significantly less than the other’s, each filer may receive a better refund by filing separately. 

If you’re single with kids or are living apart from a spouse, Head of Household might offer bigger tax benefits.

You can use the IRS’s tax filing status tool to determine the best way for you to file.

3. Contribute to your 2023 IRA or HSA

If you have an IRA or health savings account, you can contribute to either for the 2023 tax year up until taxes are due on April 15, 2024. Doing this can help lower your taxable income, which could help you get a bigger refund. And, if you meet the income requirements, it can also help you qualify for the Saver’s Credit

4. Don’t leave business deductions on the table

If you work for yourself, freelance, or work any type of side hustle that taxes aren’t automatically withheld from, you’ll need to report your self-employment income to the IRS. This can be costly if you haven’t accounted for it throughout the year.

To lower your tax liability and make sure you end up with a higher refund or a lower tax bill, make sure you claim all of the eligible business expenses you can. Common business expenses include travel, meals, home office deductions, equipment costs, ongoing education, websites, and even advertising costs. 

5. Look for a maximum refund guarantee

To make sure you get the biggest refund possible, file your taxes with a service that offers a maximum refund guarantee. This year, you can file directly with Current, which has partnered with Column Tax, who offers a maximum refund guarantee*.

*Maximum Refund Guarantee is subject to Column Tax Terms of Use. Current is in partnership with Column Tax for tax filing services.  Current does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice, and users should consult a qualified professional for personalized guidance. View Column Tax Terms of Use here:

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