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6 Ways to Get a Bigger Tax Refund

Whether you bought a house, paid for college, or renovated your home for energy efficiency, we've got the scoop on the tax credits and deductions that may help you get more money back.

By Kate Ashford

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Buying a house
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If You Bought a House

Take advantage of the homebuyer tax credit, which offers up to $8,000 for first-time buyers. To get this credit, the purchase must have occurred between January 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010 (with a signed contract by April 30). Repeat homeowners can get a credit of up to $6,500. (The IRS defines a repeat homeowner as someone who has owned and lived in the same residence for at least five consecutive years out of the past eight and is buying a new home.) The credit for repeat owners starts phasing out for single taxpayers making a modified adjusted gross income of more than $125,000 and married taxpayers making $225,000. If you're married, both of you must have an eligible home ownership history. Since the income phaseouts are different for first-time home buyers depending on when you bought, be sure to check out federalhousingtaxcredit.com for more info.

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