Every year, our politicians talk about the need to simplify the tax code and every year, they make it more complex.

The average taxpayer will spend an estimated 23 hours completing their return this year.  Eighty percent of taxpayers will hire someone to do the work, or buy tax software, even though 64 percent of taxpayers don't owe anything.

There are six definitions of a child; more than a dozen educational credits, and 16 different types of tax-favored savings plans. That may seem daunting, but with some basic knowledge and planning, you can avoid costly mistakes.

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