It’s generally too late to take steps to qualify for new deductions and credits this year, but you can still make sure to include all the tax breaks that could help you if you haven’t filed your tax return yet. If you itemize, you probably already got the mortgage interest deduction and charitable contribution deduction. Above the line deductions like moving costs and student loan interest are also hard to miss.

But what about other potential breaks? Think back through your year, look through your bank statements and receipts, and see if you can find some of these tax breaks to help you reduce your bill. Here are five to consider:
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Home ownership comes with a lot of responsibility, so it seems fair that there are also many benefits – especially when it comes time to pay your taxes. If you already own a home, you’re probably familiar with these. But, for the rest of us looking to buy now or in the future, here are some basics on 6 tax benefits you can expect once you become a homeowner.

  1. The mortgage interest deduction

This is the major deduction most homeowners are eager to cash in on. The way mortgages work is that you pay most of the interest on the loan within the first several years. The good thing is that interest payments qualify as an itemized deduction (listed on Schedule A) on the federal tax return, potentially reducing your tax liability for those that can gain versus filing the standard deduction every year.
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When it comes to getting rid of debt, it seems like the best option is to pay it off as quickly as possible.

This is especially true of credit card debt. It’s high interest, so you should just pay off what you can, as quickly as you can, right?

Not so fast.

It’s actually possible to pay off your credit cards too fast. What?!? Here are three reasons to take a step back and evaluate whether or not you should pay off your credit cards immediately.
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The average student loan debt now exceeds $30,000. No wonder an estimated 11% of student loans are in default!

The Department of Education already expanded repayment options like pay-as-you-earn plans (PAYE) and income-based repayment plans (IBR) over the last few years, but many students are still struggling with this financial burden well into their post-college years. Do you have student loans? How are you managing to pay the monthly payments?

Recently, lawmakers introduced a new bill that could make a big difference for graduates – and their employers. This bill would extend tax benefits to employers who choose to help their workers with student debt.

About 4% of companies in the U.S. already have programs like this, with maximum annual employee benefits reaching $4,400 a year. Under the terms of the new bill, these payouts would qualify as a tax deduction (just like the money employers contribute to their workers’ 401K accounts). With the incentive of being able to put the money back in their own pockets at the end of the year, more employers might be willing to start or expand these kinds of programs.
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Bursting the love bubble by sitting down and having a serious talk about finances is never fun, but open communication about money is a good idea in any relationship.

Those thinking of tying the knot should have a serious discussion about money at some point, preferably before you move in together or get married. Even if there are no plans to combine finances completely, it’s still good to clear the air and see if everyone is on the same page.

Here are five things that to talk about before moving forward:
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I’ve always heard it’s best to pay off your credit card in full each month, but this certainly not the universally accepted opinion. Some people actually think carrying a balance on their card is the best way to build credit. What about you though – is it good or bad for your credit score if you carry a credit card balance?

The argument for paying off your credit card in full each month is straightforward:

  • It demonstrates your ability to handle credit responsibly by only borrowing what your budget can afford. This can boost your credit score.
  • You’ll save money on interest (although the amount of interest you pay doesn’t necessarily impact your credit score).

But there is also an argument for carrying a balance:

  • If you make the minimum payment on time, carrying a balance doesn’t count against you.
  • Paying off debt regularly builds your credit.

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