How to Get a Bigger Tax Refund in the US? A complete guide is here!

Boost your refund in 2024 by claiming the right credits like EITC and Child Tax Credit, strategically using deductions like IRA contributions and itemizing if applicable, reviewing your withholdings to avoid overpaying, and staying organised with detailed records. 

How to Get a Bigger Tax Refund in the US?

Maximizing your US tax refund requires a smart strategy. Claim valuable credits like Earned Income and Child Tax Credits, and consider itemised deductions like mortgage interest, charity donations, and medical expenses if they surpass the standard deduction. 

Optimize your withholdings to avoid overpaying the government, and contribute to retirement accounts like IRAs for additional deductions. 

Don’t forget to keep proper records and file electronically for a quicker refund. By planning wisely and claiming every dollar you deserve, you can turn tax season into a financial boost.

Claim the Right Credits

Tax credits are like golden keys that open the door to a bigger refund. While deductions reduce your taxable income, credits directly decrease the amount of tax you owe, dollar-for-dollar. Choosing the right ones can impact your refund. Here are some key credits to consider:

How to Get a Bigger Tax Refund in the US?

  • EITC: This refundable credit provides a significant boost to low- and moderate-income earners, especially those with children. Check the IRS website to see if you qualify and how much you could receive.
  • Child Tax Credit: Up to $2,000 per child under 17 can be claimed, even if you didn’t receive advance payments throughout the year.
  • Education Credits: Claiming credits like the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit can reduce your tax bill by thousands of dollars if you’re paying for tuition, fees, or other education-related expenses.
  • Retirement Contributions: Contributing to IRAs or 401(k)s lowers your taxable income, giving you a bigger refund. Consider maxing out these contributions for maximum benefit.
  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): Deduct contributions to your HSA and enjoy tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical expenses. It’s a triple tax-saving method.

What are the most common tax deductions that can increase your refund?

One easy strategy to lower your taxable income is to use the standard deduction. However, if you have expenses like mortgage interest, state, and local taxes, charitable donations, or medical bills, itemise your deductions might be more beneficial. 

Here are some of the most common and effective tax deductions that can significantly increase your refund:

Itemised Deductions:

  • Mortgage Interest: If you own a home with a mortgage, the interest you pay can be deducted from your taxable income.
  • State and Local Taxes: Depending on your filing status and the specific taxes you pay, you can deduct some state and local income taxes and property taxes.
  • Charitable Donations: Cash donations to qualified charitable organisations can be deducted, up to certain limits.
  • Medical and Dental Expenses: Out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses exceeding 7.5% of your adjusted gross income can be deducted.
  • Job-Related Expenses: Certain job-related expenses, such as home office deductions, business mileage, and union dues, can be deducted under specific criteria.

Other Common Deductions:

  • Student Loan Interest: Up to $2,500 of interest paid on qualified student loans can be deducted.
  • Interest on Education Loans: Up to $2,500 of interest paid on qualified education loans can be deducted.
  • Casualty and Theft Losses: Losses from uninsured or partially insured casualties and thefts may be deductible.
  • Gambling Losses: Up to the amount of your gambling winnings can be deducted, but not more.
  • Review Your Withholdings: Adjust your W-4 throughout the year to ensure you’re not having too much federal income tax withheld from your paycheck. This prevents overpaying the government and puts more money in your pocket each month.

US Tax Return Status 

The IRS offers the convenient “Where’s My Refund?” tool to track its progress online. Here are a few easy steps to utilize it:

  • Visit the official IRS website at and navigate to the “Tools” section. There, you’ll find the “Where’s My Refund?” tool, tap on it.
  • To access your refund status, you’ll need three pieces of information:
  • Either your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Your status while filing (married filing jointly, single, etc.)
  • The exact amount of your refund, in whole dollars (no cents)
  • Fill in the required fields on the “Where’s My Refund?” page with your Social Security number/ITIN, filing status, and exact refund amount. Double-check everything for accuracy before proceeding.
  • Click on the “Submit” button. If your information is correct, you’ll be directed to a personalized page displaying your refund status.

The “Where’s My Refund?” tool updates once a day, usually overnight. Wait at least 24 hours after each time you track your refund for the latest information.

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