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The tax code seems to get more complicated every year. Because of that, there are many tax deductions tax filers are eligible for that they simply don't bother to take. The first step is to find out what they are. After that, you can take a look at your tax return and see if any of them apply to you. Even if your tax return seems pretty straight-forward, some of these extra deductions can tip the scales and turn your tax owed into a refund.

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1. Out-of-pocket charitable donations

In addition to the actual money you give to charities, you can also deduct any expenses incurred to help others. For example, you can deduct your mileage for charitable use of your car if you drive for a Girl Scout event. You are also able to deduct the cost of ingredients for the brownies you made for a charitable bake sale. You can even deduct the cost of the food donated for canned food drives conducted by qualifying charities.

Small multi-ethnic group of people working on humanitarian aid project mixetto / Getty Images
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