7 On Your Side looks at which tax form is right for you

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Choosing the right tax form can range from easy to complex and most Americans will have to use more than one form. (KGO-TV)

April 15 would normally be the tax deadline but this year, we have a few more days with Tax Day on Monday.

Choosing the right tax form can range from easy to complex and most Americans will have to use more than one form.

7 On Your Side has a look at which tax form is right for you.

The simplest, aptly named 1040EZ, is best for those who report only wages and minimal interest.

It doesn't allow for any deductions and just one credit and works especially well for filers who are new to the working life.

But taxpayers beware.

"You may fit on a simpler form, but are you fully utilizing the deductions and credits available to you?" Senior Tax Advisor at H&R Block Richard Gartland asked.

Life changes equate to tax changes and for many of us, as we grow older, attend college, buy a home, have a child. It makes sense to move to a 1040A or a 1040 form, depending upon the complexity of your return.

"You get a standard deduction. That's a set amount set by the government. If you want to exceed that amount, you then have to itemize," Gartland said.

And that itemization can add up.

For filers, some deductions are obvious, like mortgage interest.

"They need to itemize everything to take full advantage of that. And that's state and local income taxes, some of your DMV fees perhaps, property taxes, charitable donations, unreimbursed business expenses," he said.

Then there are credits. The difference between the two - a deduction reduces your taxable income. A credit, say for education, is a dollar-for-dollar reduction off your tax liability.

So bear in mind that any deduction or any credit, no matter how big or small, is a smart one.

Once you decide to make that leap into itemizing, it's a good idea to go to a professional and allow them to take you through their process at least once.

Click here for more stories and videos from 7 On Your Side.
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