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Itemize or Choose the Standard Deduction

Most taxpayers claim the standard deduction when they file their federal tax return. However, some filers may be able to lower their tax bill by itemizing. Find out which way saves the most money by figuring taxes both ways.

The IRS offers the following six tips to help taxpayers decide:

1. Use IRS Free File. Most taxpayers qualify to use free, brand-name software to prepare and file their federal tax returns electronically. IRS Free File is the easiest way to file. Free File software helps taxpayers determine if they should itemize. It files the right tax forms based on the answers the taxpayer provides. Free File software does the math and allows the user to e-file the tax return – for free.

Taxpayers can check on other e-file options if they can’t use Free File.

2. Figure Your Itemized Deductions.  Taxpayers need to add up deductible expenses they paid during the year. These may include expenses such as:

Use the “Where’s My Refund?” Tool

 

Taxpayers who have not yet received their income tax refunds can use “Where’s My Refund?” app to check the status. Find it on IRS.gov or the free IRS mobile app IRS2Go.

Here are five tips to know about “Where’s My Refund?”:

1. Some Refunds Delayed. Beginning in 2017, certain taxpayers will get their refunds later. By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds before February 15 for any tax return claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). The IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the part related to the EITC or ACTC. The IRS began releasing delayed 2016 EITC and ACTC refunds on February 15.

Check Out These Tax Benefits for Parents

Taxpayers with children may qualify for certain tax benefits. Parents should consider child-related tax benefits when filing their federal tax return:

Six Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

Self-employed taxpayers normally earn income by carrying on a trade or business. Here are six important tips from the IRS for the self-employed:

Are Social Security Benefits Taxable?

If taxpayers receive Social Security benefits, they may have to pay federal income tax on part of those benefits. These IRS tips will help taxpayers determine if they need to do so.

Five Things to Know About the Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit is a tax credit that may save taxpayers up to $1,000 for each eligible qualifying child. Taxpayers should make sure they qualify before they claim it. Here are five facts from the IRS on the Child Tax Credit:

1. Qualifications. For the Child Tax Credit, a qualifying child must pass several tests:

·         Age. The child must have been under age 17 on Dec. 31, 2016.

Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank Kick Off Touchdown for Teachers Contest

Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank Kick Off Touchdown for Teachers Contest

Western New Yorkers asked to nominate outstanding educators in their community

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — For the 9th consecutive year, the Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank are calling on fans to nominate Western New York’s “Hall of Fame-caliber” educators for the 2017 M&T Bank Touchdown for Teachers program, which recognizes local teachers for extraordinary service to their schools and communities.

This year, the Bills and M&T are hoping to gather the most nominations in the program’s history. To make it happen, they’re challenging each of the schools throughout the 15-county region that is eligible for the competition to nominate at least one of their outstanding teachers.