Getting the most out of your tax return

By Sarah Batista - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Tax experts say many people are choosing to file their tax returns early this year because they need the extra money.

"People are wanting their refunds as quickly as possible," said David Pettigrew of Steele Creek Tax Service.

And in this sour economy, every dollar counts.

But not everyone knows how to get the most money out of their tax return.

In fact, Pettigrew says many people tend to forget about the little write-off's such as the property taxes on your car, donation receipts, student loan interest, and daycare expenses.

Nicole Chapman wasted no time getting her taxes done this year.

"Just [wanted] to make sure I beat the rush and get it out of the way," said Chapman.

Experts say the first-time home buyer's credit is a big money saver.

You can get back 10 percent of the purchase price on your house up to $7500.

And if you forgot to do it last year, you can amend your 2008 return.

"My advice if you need the money, go ahead and amend the tax return and get it now," said Pettigrew.

People who didn't qualify for a stimulus check last year, and do now, can have it added to this year's refund.

Pettigrew says people facing a tight budget might try filing on their own to save on preparation fees, but if you're banking on getting more money back, he says it's best to use a professional.

"I'd hate to think you lost four or five-hundred dollars in a refund, just to save 60 or 70 dollars for your tax prep," said Pettigrew.

For more information on tax preparations, visit