It’s 2018 already?? For most people, January is a refreshing air of new. New resolutions, goals, challenges and adventures. If you’re one of those people setting resolutions for yourself this year, more power to you! I hope you stick to them. One of the most common goals for people at the start of a new year is to save money. Maybe you’re saving for a home, vacation, or even just saving to fuel your emergency fund; regardless of what it is you’re saving for, taxes can play a huge part in this process. As tax season is quickly approaching, we wanted to share some helpful tips and tricks to make the tax-filing season cheaper and easier.
- Organize your records for tax time. For many, the biggest frustration at tax time is gathering all of the documentation. You will need last year’s tax return, this year’s W-2’s and 1099s, receipts, etc. It can be helpful to print a checklist that can help make sure you have all of the information you need. You can find a sample list that also includes list of common deductions here.
- Keep all of the information that comes in the mail in January being careful not to throw out any tax-related documents, even if they don’t look very important. It can also be helpful to group similar documents together so that when you need them, they are easier to locate.
- Find the right tax forms. You can view and download an inventory full of forms and publications at the Internal Revenue Service web site or have them sent to you directly by mail. The IRS will refer you to a private web site that lists state government sites where you can pick up state forms as well. If you are using a program such as TurboTax or H&R Block to file your taxes, all of the tax forms you need are already included.
- To Itemize or not to itemize your deductions? If your qualified expenses add up to more than $6,350 for singles and $12,700 for married couples filing jointly, it may be beneficial to itemize your deductions. If not, it may be simpler to take the standard deduction.
- File and pay on time. The deadline to file your taxes is April 17,2018. However, if you can’t finish by this date, be sure to file Form 4868 by the deadline date. This will provide you with a six-month extension of the filing deadline until October 15, 2018. You will need to make a reasonable estimate of your tax liability for 2017 and pay any balance due with your request. Filing this form can prevent penalties of 4.5 percent per month of the tax owed up to 22.5 percent.
- File electronically. The quickest and easiest way to receive your refund is to electronically file your return and use direct deposit.
- Be sure to keep a copy of your filed tax return!
For more tips and helpful information go to TuboTax.intuit.com.