Tips to receive the greatest tax refunds - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Tips to receive the greatest tax refunds

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Tax advisors are saying it's their busiest time of year.

It's when the W-2s come out, and the IRS owes people tax refunds.

"They want their money right away and so they're in and saying, you know, get me my money as fast as I can, I want to get this done right now," said Shelly Lamberth, senior tax advisor at H&R Block.

Most people are looking for that biggest tax refund and sitting down with a tax advisor is the best way to make sure that happens, Lamberth said.

"People come in first with W-2s – that's the report from your employer as to how much (money) you made.  It's a summary report for the whole year," Lamberth said. "And then there are lots and lots of documents. It just depends on what they have going on in their financial life, and that's why we go through (an) interview."

Some examples of these additional documents involve earning interest at the bank or stock dividends. Lamberth said he uses this information to make sure a person's tax return is accurate.

But in his opinion, large refunds are not all they're built up to.

"I view a large refund as you giving your money or lending your money to the IRS and they don't pay you any interest on it," Lamberth said.

In other words, people first give their money to the IRS through withholding. Then, after completing a tax return, people often get some of that money back.

Lambert said if W-4s are filled out accurately, tax returns should be balanced; that end result should be zero.

The best way to make sure returns are accurate, he added, is to double check them with a financial advisor. There are mistakes in two out of three returns when they don't have a trained set of eyes on them.

The deadline to file individual tax returns or request an automatic extension is Monday, April 15.

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