No one likes to pay a huge amount in income taxes. But as it turns out, many taxpayers pay more taxes than they have to for a very simple reason: they're too scared to take the deductions and credits they're entitled to take.

In the following segment from their video introducing investors to several essential investment planning topics, Motley Fool director of investment planning Dan Caplinger talks with Fool markets/IP bureau chief Mike Klesta about this key mistake taxpayers make with their tax planning. Dan notes that people are scared of getting audited by the IRS, and so they'll choose not to take deductions and credits even though they're clearly eligible to receive them. Given the relatively low rates of audits, however, Dan concludes that it's almost always smarter to go ahead and claim all the tax benefits that apply to your situation rather than leaving money on the table that you could have put in your own pocket.

Is Uncle Sam about to claim 40% of your hard-earned assets?
Thanks to a 2013 law called the American Taxpayer Relief Act, or ATRA, he can, and will, if you aren't properly prepared.

Fortunately, The Motley Fool recently uncovered an arsenal of little-known loopholes to protect yourself from ATRA and help keep the taxman at bay when he inevitably comes calling. We reveal them all in a brand-new special report. Simply click the following link for instant, 100% free access.

Protect my hard-earned wealth from Uncle Sam

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