The clock is ticking to file your tax returns. A little more than four weeks remain. But you may get more than what you bargained for.
Good news for people dreading filing their tax returns. The IRS reports the average refund for early filers grew 9% from last year. Some filers are pocketing over $200 more.
Some changes contributing to the growth are an increase in earned income and child tax credit, the addition of sales tax deduction and the elimination of the marriage penalty tax.
"For people that are itemizing, they now have the sales tax deduction, the tax tables been lowered. There are so many different aspects that it affects a lot of people,” said Debbie Hurst a tax preparer with Bottom Line Bookkeeping.
She says the more documentation, the better, in order to prove you qualify for tax credits.
"If you bring it all we can figure out what you've got, tell you what your missing, and that way give you as much back as we can get you back," said Hurst.
Some early filers have already reaped their benefits.
"Much larger. We had another child this year and that added to our child deductible, said Andrea Schrock, a College Station resident.
While others didn't get as much money back as last year, but are still grateful.
"I expected more than what I got, but I did at least get something back," said Victoria Beraza, a College Station resident.
Tax preparers say electronic filing is definitely the way to go. You can get your refund faster and you can also avoid waiting in long lines at the post office.
"I like to beat the rush, I don't like to be standing in line on April 15 and have to try to turn stuff in. I just like to get it done so I can see what money I get back or what money I have to pay so I can prepare for that," said Melanie Schulz, a College Station resident.
But tax advisors say enjoy the larger refunds while they last because changing tax laws can make it difficult to anticipate what next year's return will look like.
Upload your photo, with a caption of your reason to smile, then watch the last half hour of BVTM from 6:30A - 7A Monday mornings to see if your photo makes it.