For Americans, anxiety is too often the rule come tax time, and with jangling nerves also comes a tendency to lose focus and forget some key deductions.

That's a big financial no-no, as taking all the legitimate deductions possible can strip away a healthy slice of your annual tax burden.

Make no mistake, the I.R.S. doesn't make it easy to find all the deductions available, simply because the federal government can't afford to lose the money.

According to data from the Joint Committee On Taxation, widely-used tax breaks costs Uncle Sam about $4 trillion between 2014 and 2018. That's money lost to tax deductions, tax credits, and income excluded from taxation, for one reason or another.

The answer? Keep your slice of that $4 trillion by taking tax breaks you have coming, and let the federal government to dig up some cash elsewhere, well away from your pocketbook.

Start with these great deductions and credits when you file your taxes this year:

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