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Consumer Watch: Boosting Our Tax Refund

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Every year we do our American duty and file our taxes. We all want to try to reduce our taxable income, so here are some little known ways to increase that long-awaited refund check.

* Were you one of the unlucky ones who owed and paid state income taxes last year? Now, you can deduct those as an itemized expense.

* Paying back student loans isn't fun, but the interest you paid can boost your refund.

* Next, moving expenses. If you've been transferred and meet the requirements, any un-reimbursed moving expenses can also be taken as an above-the-line deduction.

* Don't forget about child and dependent care expenses as well as alimony payments. They can all be written off.

* Charitable donations help others, but they can also help you. From taking your clothes to the goodwill, to making donations through your paycheck, even church tithes can be a tax write-off. Just make sure you have the receipts to back it up.

It may not be too late to help boost your tax refund for next year. Be sure to regularly review your filing status and check your withholdings, especially if you've had a major life event like a marriage or a child.

And some bonus tips: If you are not married and paid more than half the cost to keep up with a home and have a qualifying dependent, then choosing head of household versus single will benefit you. Also, you probably didn't know you can claim a qualifying relative, like a sibling, parent or grandparent, who doesn't live with you. That could possibly change your status from single to head of household and give you an extra deduction.

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