With tax filing season now here, consumers have a variety of different strategies that can help increase their deductions and maximize their returns.

A recent report from Bankrate.com laid out some of the many options that taxpayers had at their disposal over the past year that could end up benefiting them during the current filing season.

For example, those who bought homes or hybrid cars are among those eligible for federal tax benefits, as are people who added energy efficient retrofits to their home.

The Bankrate report also warns people that if they had two jobs or are married, they may have received more than intended under the Making Work Pay tax credit, which could have a negative effect on their tax return.

Overall, the federal stimulus bill contains a variety of tax incentives covering many different areas, which is why along with visiting a professional tax preparer, it also makes sense for people to familiarize themselves with the benefits contained in this legislation before filing their returns.

Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.