Where can I find specific info out about taxes. Plus I have a question in side..?

So, I know enough to do my own taxes (of course wtih the help of software) but there are some things that I would like to understand.
So, this was my first year paying interest on my school loan.
This year I paid $ 1076, so me being ignorant about taxes, thought that I would get all of that back, in addition to what I normally would get.
However, as I was doing my taxes I didn’t a significant differece. I used turbo tax and when it was time to answer the question, I was looking at the money generator but it looks like it jump my return up about $ 150 or so.
So, I guess my question is how does that work? ALso what is a write off—
Here is my assumption and it may be stupid: My assumption is that everything you write off or can write off is deducted from your salary and whatever is left over will be taxed?
Can someone please help or direct me to the right place.

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