It seems obvious, but doing a quick review of your taxes may lead to deductions or credits that you've overlooked. Some taxpayers remain confused about the Making Work Pay Credit, which was in effect for only two years -- 2009 and 2010. In 2011 and 2012, it was replaced by a reduction in payroll taxes that reduced the share employees paid in Social Security taxes to 4.2% from 6.2%. But filers don't have to report anything on their returns, since they've already received the credit in their paychecks. If you are self-employed, your self-employment tax for 2012 is 10.4%, down from the customary 12.4%.
If you're a college student or a parent of one, you may be eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides a credit of $2,500 to those who earn $80,000 or less ($160,000 for joint filers). The credit was set to expire in 2010 but Congress extended it through the end of 2012.