Tax filing time could present chance to build personal savings

The IRS has noted that in 2009, the average individual tax return was just over $2,300, which can present consumers with various financial opportunities as they continue trying to improve their personal financial situations.

For example, many people may be inclined to use this year''s return to pay down credit card debt or other obligations.

Recent government statistics have found that Americans are more focused than ever on paying down revolving credit debts, and the nation''s personal savings rate has also shown signs of returning to a healthy level after hovering at near zero earlier in the last decade.

"Taxpayers can also invest in their IRAs. If they are covered by a pension plan at work, the modified adjusted gross income limit for deducting traditional IRA contributions has increased. A couple filing married filing jointly whose income is between $89,000 and $109,000 can take a partial deduction this year. Single taxpayers (including head of household filers) making between $55,000 and $65,000 can take a partial deduction. If MFS and the taxpayer lived with their spouse, the phase out is between 0 and $10,000. The contribution limit for 2009 is $5,000 ($6,000 if age 50 or older)" said John Hewitt, CEO of Liberty Tax Service.

A USA Today personal finance column provided another idea on what people can do with their return - invest all or part of it into inflation-adjusted savings bonds, or I Bonds, which are available through the U.S. Treasury.

The column notes that simply filling out a form 8888 will allow a direct investment of one''s return into I Bonds. Elsewhere, the website TreasuryDirect.gov notes that I Bonds offer a fixed interest rate and a semiannual inflation rate. They can be purchased in increments of $50, up to $5,000 per person in any year.

Liberty Tax Service provides computerized income tax preparation and electronic filing. Each tax office offers customers audit assistance, a money back guarantee, and free tax return checking.