Tips for filing taxes and maximizing tax returns? First time doing this so this should be interesting, any advice would be appreciated

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You can’t do much aside from maximizing your 401k and HSA contributions, which in effect reduces your taxable income.

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Do you have a time machine? The best plan is to talk to an accountant before you start earning the money to see if there is anything that can be done in advance to set you up for the best scenario. Since it's too late for that, talk to one about next year.

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Hire an accountant, worth the expense.

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Not gonna get much with standard deductions and sincerely doubt you have enough of a complicated tax situation to take non standard deductions that would be larger than standard.

I used to get more (3k to 5k) at a commercial banking job (maybe gross income of 80k) with conservative withholding.

Switched mid year to IB and gross income went to 130k, same witholdings, got 500 back that year. Welcome to higher tax bracket.

This year with 200k gross income from IB job, I’m expected to pay 5k on top of what they already withheld.

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Welcome to the real world where you work for the government and your company :D

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