Don't Overlook The Earned Income Tax Credit

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Right now, Tax Day might have been extended into May, but come the deadline, you'll be glad you did your research before filing with the IRS. Paying your taxes can be an overwhelming and annoying process, but if you play your cards right, you could save a significant chunk of change.

Almost half of people who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit don't know about it, but it's been part of the federal tax system for nearly half a century. The exact amount you earn each year to qualify varies by a number of factors, such as whether you're married and how many children you do (or don't) have. A single person with no children earning $15,820 or less annually might get $538 shaved off their taxable income; a married couple with three children, filing jointly, saves $6,660 on an income of $56,844 or less.

Read More:Earned Income Tax Credit: What Is It & How to Qualify

If that's too fiddly for you, the IRS has a handy flow chart with questions you can answer for federal taxes; 29 states and the District of Columbia also offer a similar credit. For those bracing themselves for another brutal tax year, take heart — there are lots of ways you can prepare now to cushion or even turn around your filings. Everyone should make sure they understand the standard deduction.

Learn More About Tax Credits

Tax season is a morass no matter how you slice it. Still, you might discover that the IRS is kinder to you than you'd think.