5 Helpful Hints for Tax Season
“I love tax season,” said no one ever.But tax season really doesn’t have to be so bad. Following a few simple tips can help you keep your tax season stress free and ensure that you get the tax refund that you deserve. In this article we will go over some of the most helpful hints for the 2016 tax season and get you ready to have the best tax season of your life.
Hint #1- Get Organized
The first step to a stress free tax season starts well before the season begins. Create a system of organization, and follow it throughout the year. Keep track of receipts, W-2s, 1099s, and other important tax documents as they come by storing them in some form of organized manner. Keeping all of your important documents in one place will keep you from having to search frantically through your home come April, to find that one receipt that you thought you had saved.
Q: What receipts should I save?
A: In general, if you are unsure whether an item might be tax deductible in the future, but think there is maybe a chance, then save the receipt. Be certain to save any receipts related to medical expenses, child care expenses, unreimbursed work expenses, charitable contributions, and any self employment expenses.
Hint #2- Mark your calendar
If you want to make certain that you don’t miss any important deadlines this tax season, be sure to mark your calendar. This year taxes are due April 18th rather than April 15th because of Emancipation Day observance in Washington D.C. on the 15th. State tax due dates, however, may not be the same as the federal due date. Check your state’s due date online, and be sure to also mark it on your calendar.
Important tax documents; W-2s, 1099s, and 1098s should all be mailed to you sometime in early February. If you haven't received your tax documents by Valentine's day, you should talk to your employer so that you can file your taxes on time.
Hint #3- Check your return from last year
When you actually begin to file taxes, the best place to start is by looking at a tax return from the previous year. There is a really good chance that you will qualify for many of the same deductions on this year’s tax return as you did last year. If that is the case, you can save time by not having to read through documents, and search for deductions you may be eligible for.
Hint #4- File Early
The most obvious reason to file taxes early is that you receive a refund much quicker than when filing late. Filing early can also save you money by helping avoid potential interest and penalties associated with overdue debts.
In recent years, a number of identity theft scams have sprung up where people use social security numbers to file your taxes and then steal the tax refund. By filing early, you can avoid becoming a victim of one of these scams.
Hint #5- Get the Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions
Claiming the standard deduction is easy, but you will likely miss out on a lot of money that you could have saved by doing an itemized deduction. You may even be eligible for deductions that you didn’t know existed; items like as deductions on expenses related to a job hunt, or out of pocket charitable contributions. For a list of some of the most commonly overlooked deductions, check out these two articles from Turbotax and Kiplinger.
By Learn Accounting Free | 2016-03-23 17:00:23 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
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