A question I get asked a lot is “How could I have received a better refund on my personal income tax return?” I blame the advertising that is done by H&R Block, which tends to make people think that filing a tax return is all about getting money back. You get a refund when you overpay your taxes during the year.
The more important question would be, how could you reduce the overall amount of income tax that you pay? Your taxes are reduced by two broad categories – you can reduce the amount of income you make or increase the amount of deductions that you take. Assuming you do not want to make less money, you will save on income taxes mainly by making sure that you get and keep all the receipts for the expenses you are entitled to deduct.
Was there anything you could not deduct on your 2016 return because you did not have the receipt?