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 If you overestimate on your tax withholdings, you'll get a refund. That may sound GREAT but this means you have effectively used the IRS as a zero-interest savings account for the past 12 months.     

   "Our rule of thumb is to have at least 10 percent of your income taken out of your income."

Your main goal should be to get as close to zero as possible.


When you're self-employed, you are, in fact, operating a small business. A self-employed individual can deduct many expenses as a small business owner that aren't necessarily available to employed individuals.

Deductible business-related expenses include:

1. Home office supplies

2. The use of your vehicle for business travel

3. Personal computers and software

4. Meals and entertainment

5. Accounting and legal fees

6. Postage

7. Education and professional association dues


If you're fortunate enough to work for a company with a comprehensive employee benefits package, this is a great way to pay certain expenses while keeping overall taxable income lower.

Benefits that can reduce your income tax burden include transit passes and biking reimbursements. Group insurance is another important benefit. Many employers provide a combination of group health, life and long-term disability insurance. These benefits might require a pretax contribution on your part.

This year, the IRS expects to process more than 153 million tax returns. More than 70 percent of taxpayers are expected to get refunds. In most cases, the IRS says it can issue refunds within 3 weeks of receiving a return.