Save on taxes without itemizing

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Getting back big bucks from your tax return doesn't always mean having to itemize.  In fact, the ConsumerWatch Team found dozens of deductions, or what's sometimes called adjustments that can help shave some dollars off your tax bill.

For example, local accountant Steve Brown says for 2008, homeowners are in luck.

"This year, brand new rule, they can add their property tax deduction to their standard deduction," explains Brown, the owner of Mr. Tax of America.

He also says taxpayers who've lost their spouse have additional filing options than just head of household.

"If they have dependent children, can file married filing joint, it's called a qualifying widower at a better rate for two years after the husband's died," says Brown.

There are options for people who are divorced and don't plan to itemize.

"The person paying the alimony can deduct the alimony on their return then it's included on the other spouses return," Brown says.

There's also the child tax credit, and other deductions related to education.

"Somebody in college, you've got a student loan interest deduction and the college tuition and fees deduction," he says.

Also, teachers can deduct up to $250 for classroom expenses.

Another tip Brown says, "There's a retirement credit for police, fire and sheriff's up to $3000 for their medical insurance premiums that come off on their for 10-99R."

Brown also says taxpayers should ask about certain bonus credits.

"Then, there's also a bonus credit for low to middle income taxpayers who put money into their IRA or 401(k)."