Ways to save and make money off your taxes

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- How would you like to make money off the government for once?

Come tax time, you can, according to Shauna Wekherlien, a CPA who calls herself the "Tax Goddess."
Her suggestion? Donate to one of these private school tuition organizations.

Wekherlien says individuals can give up to $500, which you can get all back by claiming it as a credit on your state income taxes.

Even better, living here in the state of Arizona, you're allowed to take some of those deductions at the federal level as well. So if you give $1, you're getting $1.18 back, which is fabulous. You're actually making money by giving away money.

Another tax tip you may not know about involves writing off medical expenses, and we're not just talking about medical bills or co-pays.

Wekherlien says you can deduct everything from doctor visits to Band-Aids.

While you have to spend a certain percentage of your income on those items to qualify, those restrictions do not apply at the state level.

If you only spend $100 on your co-pays to your doctor or on your prescriptions, that will help your Arizona return even if it doesn't help you’re federal return.

Do you like to save money? Then get your taxes done for free.

It’s possible through a program called VITA, which stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

IRS certified volunteers can prepare basic tax returns for free at a list of locations Valleywide.

The catch: You have to make less than $50,000 dollars a year.

Those tax preparers are trained and you’re getting your tax return for free. 

A lot of people will go to H&R Block but they're making $45,000, so it's a great way to save you $200 to $300 this year.

Just a reminder, this year's tax deadline is Tuesday, April 17, two days later than the normal date which falls on a weekend.

In the meantime, Wekherlien advises to get a folder to keep all of your tax documents in so you don't forget to include something on your returns.  As simple as it sounds, it could keep you out of trouble.

“That's one of the ways the IRS catches people and performs audits is that something is missing,” Wekherlien explained.