LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – This year, the tax filing deadline falls on April 18. That means it’s time to get cracking on your returns and that means claiming tax credits.

Check to see if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. This is for people with low to moderate incomes and can lead to a credit of up to $6,900.

There are also a number of child tax credits that many parents may be able to get.

If you’re paying for college, see if you qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

And if you earn less than $34,000, the Savers Tax Credit can offset part of the first $2,000 you contribute to IRAs and workplace retirement plans.

If you can’t get your act together by April 18 and need an extension use Form 4868, which gives you an extra six months to file.

But it’s important to note that an extension to file is not an extension to pay. That means you need to estimate and pay any owed taxes by the April 18th deadline to avoid potential penalties and interest.

Finally, if you have already filed and received a tax refund, use the extra money to address any of the “big three.”

Fund an emergency reserve that can cover 6-12 months of living expenses, reduce credit card or other high-interest debt, and fund retirement plans to the best of your ability, especially if you are entitled to a company match.