Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tax Season Begins; Majority of Taxpayers Receive Refunds

Tax season officially begins tomorrow. That means taxpayers can begin filing their returns electronically. Full Focus Reporter Joanne Faryon has the story.

(Video of this report will be available on Friday afternoon).

Tax season officially begins tomorrow. That means taxpayers can begin filing their returns electronically. Full Focus Reporter Joanne Faryon has the story.

It may seem a little early to start thinking about filing your return. But chances are you’re getting money back. That is, if you’re the average American taxpayer, you will get a refund from the IRS. And if you start brushing up on your tax law now, you may even get a bigger refund.

Tax time is usually not cause for celebration --or is it? The majority of us actually get money back.

In the 2005 tax year, 136 million individual returns were filed and more than 100 million people got a refund -- on average more than $2,000.And there’s even more where that comes from.

Vargas: Or if you have a cellular phone with bundled long distance, you’ll get $30 back for yourself.”

According to one of the largest tax preparation centers, the public often misses out on deductions that would give them an even bigger return.  H&R Block says one of the most over-looked deductions is charitable contributions.

Vargas: The most surprising aspect of that -- people often under value what they have contributed. I mean the common contributions, old clothes, old appliances, old toys and the average citizen does not put the proper value.

About two-thirds of Americans pay someone to do their taxes. But if you want to have a go on your own, there are a number of free services. IRS trained volunteers will help seniors and if you are in a low to middle income bracket, there is free software on the IRS website that will walk you through your return.

Tullino: You use irs.gov as a portal, link your way into the freefile program or page, click into that learn about it and then choose one of twenty or so software providers who will allow you to use their electronic software for free to file your return.

There have also been some changes to tax law since last year. - Changes that again, could net you a bigger refund. The IRS lists them all on their website. One of the more common items you may be able to claim this year, is a one time telephone excise tax refund. It allows you to collect long-distance taxes that you paid in previous years. Just about everyone who files a return should be eligible to claim that this year.