Income tax refund: five tips for maximizing it

2. Don’t forget your good deeds

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    From left, actors Mark Salling and Cory Monteith, former 'American Idol' contestant Kimberley Locke, and actress Amber Riley hand over the first donation of toys from the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls Carol-oke Program to Gunnery Sgt. Chris Raudazzo from Toys for Tots in Bryant Park, N.Y., in this 2009 file photo. Many of your donations are tax-deductible.
    Brad Barket/PictureGroup for TJ Maxx/File
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Donating to qualified charities helps those in need and could increase your tax refund, just remember to keep receipts and documentation for all donations. If you itemize deductions on your taxes, you can deduct your cash contributions. Also, don’t overlook donated items like clothing, furniture, toys, and bikes at tax time. Even the miles driven to and from volunteering may be tax deductible. Many Americans undervalue the cost of their charitable contributions. There are free tools, like, available online that will give you the fair market value for your donated items.

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