Trying to save money on doing your own taxes could cost you - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

Trying to save money on doing your own taxes could cost you

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) -- A different kind of March madness is underway across Region 8.  Instead of basketballs and hoops, this one involves taxes.  Rather than going one-on-one with a tax professional, many are filing their own returns.  Doing so, however, may not be a "slam dunk."

H&R Block tax accountant Jennifer Primm says the year started off with a bang.

"People were needing money fast and this was a way to get a large sum for some people," Primm said.

She says this hasn't been a typical March. So far, it's not been as busy as years past. She attributes that to people tackling their taxes on their own--hoping to save some cash....but that's not always the case.

"I'm pretty certain most people miss a lot of the deductions and credits they're eligible for," said Primm.

Primm says at H&R Block, if they prepare your tax returns, they can save you on average about $1300. She says if you choose to do it yourself there are some common mistakes she's seeing more and more.

"If they work for an employer and they have expenses that their employer does not pay or reimburse them for they miss those a lot. Even the earned income credit as widely as that is known so many people don't realize that they are eligible for that. Excellent credit for those that have bought homes in late 2008 or all year of 2009," said Primm.

Primm says giving customers a "second look" is a feature gaining popularity. Whether it's people wanting to make sure they're getting all they're eligible for or for those overwhelmed by the "do it yourself" approach. It's a feature you may be able to benefit from even if you've already sent in your return. It costs $29.  If you want to take advantage of the "second look" feature, you would need to take in a copy of the documents used to prepare your return.

"We would sit down with them and do a full tax interview just as if they hadn't done anything on their own. That's where we find the other deductions because we know the correct questions to ask," said Primm.

Not everyone will be getting a check in the mail. If you're one of the millions having to write a check to Uncle Sam but find yourself strapped for cash--there is help available.  

"The IRS will, a lot of times, allow you to make monthly payments," said Primm.

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