Many Americans get lazy with tax time. Some insist they'll never get a large refund, so why worry about taking the time to claim every deduction? However, making sure you claim items you're entitled to could be one of the easiest ways to earn serious cash. Last year, the Internal Revenue Service issued more than $217 billion in refunds, giving the average American more than $2,800 in cash. Think what that type of return could buy you.
Here's another myth: People who got great returns used an accountant. However, only 22.2 percent of the population hired one of these finance professionals, far less than the 37.4 percent of taxpayers who did their own tax returns with computer software instead. Using computer software is a much more cost-effective choice than hiring a pro and easier to do than you might think. The DIY approach is also convenient given that you can enter your tax information from any smartphone, such as the iPhone 6 Plus on the T-Mobile network. Whether you're using your smartphone or desktop, if you save yourself an accountant's fee, you can maximize your return.
Now, before you insist you'll only waste your return anyway, crunch some numbers on these stats. Most Americans, in fact, will actually choose smart options for using their return, such as paying down their debts, investing, and saving. Only 7 percent plan on blowing their refund on a vacation or another nonessential purchase. How will you spend yours? Browse the infographic below to learn more about how Americans fare at tax time, plus separate fact from fiction with tax myths.