Central Bank of St. Louis

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  • Tax tips for less than experts

    Few things are scarier. A blank one-zero-whatever, lurking around your desk, waiting for you to aimlessly fill it out. As a young adult, you might think of taxes as some foreign concept—something to think about later rather than sooner. But your tax forms don’t have to be intimidating. In fact, there are plenty of tax benefits that are specifically designed for people like you.

    Tax papers and yellow pencil sitting on top of dollar bills

    If you're single without children and earned less than $14,820, you might qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, putting an extra $503 in your pocket. If you're married or have children, that number goes up. So, if you had a summer internship, keep this in mind when filling out your taxes ][1].

    It pays to save. As long as you're over 18, you're not in school, and there's no one claiming you as a dependent, you're eligible for the Saver's Credit. When you put money into either your IRA or your employer-sponsored retirement plan, you can receive 0%-50% of that contribution back, depending on your income. Let's say you're single with no children and you made $15,000 this year. If you put $1,000 of that into your retirement plan, you can claim a $500 credit [2].

    The class of 2016 has an average of $37,000 in student loan debt[3]. If you find yourself identifying with that statistic, look into possible tax breaks. As of 2015, you can deduct $2,500 of the interest you paid in student loans over the course of the year [4].

    Job hunting can be a major headache. From applications to interviews, the process can be stressful and expensive. The tax man knows that. You can deduct many of these costs, such as printing and mailing a resume, or even traveling across the country for an interview. Just make sure you're keeping your receipts [4].

    If you happen to get that job across the country, you can deduct your moving expenses. This covers a lot, too-from the cost of moving your household goods to pet transportation services. Uncle Sam can chip in for gas, too, at 23 cents per mile [4].

    Being tax-savvy isn't the only way you can be smart with your money. Check out your options for a savings account and start preparing for your future.


    [1] Earned Income Tax Credit, IRS
    [2] Retirement Savings Contribution Credit (Saver's Credit), IRS
    [3] Student Debt Crisis 2016: New Graduates Owe A Record-Breaking Average $37,000 In Loans, IB Times
    [4] 9 Best Tax Breaks for Millennials, Forbes



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