Many taxpayers pay more than required

Many taxpayers pay more than required

THE TAX MAN: With the filing deadline looming, experts say many Americans aren't getting the most bang for their buck. Photo: Associated Press

Are you giving the government more money than you owe it?

H&R Block senior tax adviser Richard Gartland says his company conducted a survey that found about half of the people who prepare their own taxes had some kind of inaccuracy in their return, and “half of those folks were leaving money on the table.”

Gartland says it’s because they missed out on tax breaks – deductions they were eligible for and didn’t take, or credits that they were eligible for and didn’t apply for.

He says many just take a standard deduction because it’s easier, but life changes – like marriage, birth of a child, buying a house — usually mean you should claim deductions. As Gartland puts it, “For every big milestone in life there’s a related milestone in your taxes.”

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