How to get the most from your tax return in 2022

The IRS is facing a severe staffing shortage and a big backlog. One key to avoiding a delay in your refund is to file as soon as possible.

Boston 25 News anchor Vanessa Welch talked with Certified Public Accountant Mike Castro of Castro, Thresher, & Oliveira, about what else you can do to simplify the process.

Castro told Vanessa the best way to make sure you get your refund on time is to double-check your work, file an accurate return electronically, and request direct deposit for your refund.

When it comes to charitable deductions, in the past, you could only take the deduction if you itemize your return. However, Castro says this year you can deduct up to $300 in charitable donations made in 2021, even if you chose to take the standard deduction.

Castro also told Vanesa about big tax breaks on child care costs for parents. “In Massachusetts, there is now a child tax credit and it’s worth $240 dollars for one child and $480 if you have two or more children that qualify for the credit. It replaces the dependent care deduction. That is a nice benefit for Massachusetts taxpayers,” Castro says. On the federal level, the child and dependent care credit have also been expanded this year, so parents can get up to $8,000 for one child or up to $16,000 for two or more. This is due to a one-time expansion in the American Rescue Plan Act.

Preparing your taxes can be overwhelming. Castro told Vanessa “The best thing you can do is just to stay organized. As you start to receive your tax documents, keep them all in one place. That way when it comes time to file your return, you have everything at your fingertips that you need.”

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