from the archives: tax season tips

[ 0 ] January 5, 2012 |

Sometimes we like to take a look back at the many posts hidden away in our fabulous blog archives. We often come across posts that made us laugh, posts with awesome tips, even posts that got you talking! So, we’re re-sharing those fabulous posts with you in our “from the archives” series! We hope you enjoy them…again! ;)

 

Are you ready for filing taxes? You may not want to start thinking about it, but whether you like it or not, with a new year brings an all new looming tax season. But you can make tax filing easier if you prepare your files ahead of time. And with a little research, you can also find ways to maximize your return or lessen your liability. Check out our tax season tips to make things a little easier.

Prepare Your Files

When you’re organized, things seem much less complicated. Check your mail daily for W-2s and 1099s that are being sent out. Once you receive these forms, file them away in a folder labelled: Year Taxes. Create other folders to file receipts for charities and other deductions plus any other receipts you’ll need for filing your taxes.

Set Up Direct Deposit

If you know you’ll be receiving a healthy refund, the last thing you want to do is wait months for it after all that hard work. By setting up direct deposit to your bank account, you can get your refund in half the time.

Research Your Options for More Deductions

One way to maximize your refund is to find out what you may be eligible for. For example, are you aware of the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit)? According www.irs.gov (IRS Information site), if you earn under $48,362 or less a year you can be eligible for a tax credit, resulting in a greater refund. Here are some other options to think about:

  • Parental tax benefits for each child under 17 years old.
  • Parents may be eligible for a refund due to their child’s tuition or student loan interest.
  • You may be able to claim medical or dental expenses.
  • If you work from home, you may be able to declare refunds for things like your office space, phone bill, internet & more.

For more information on what you might be eligible for, visit the IRS information site anytime!

Update Your Information

If your social insurance information isn’t up to date, you could be waiting months and months for your return, due to complications. Did you change your name this year due to a marriage or divorce? The SSA needs to be notified, so the name on your tax refund and the name they have in their records match.

It’s easy to notify them of this change. Just fill out form SS-5, which is an Application for a Social Security Card and bring it to your nearest SSA office. You’ll also need a government-issued document, like a driver’s license, for proof of your name change.

Free File Software

Free File Software is secure tax-filing software. It was developed through a partnership with the IRS and tax software companies. If you earn $58,000 or less, you can use this software free of charge! It’s safe to use and makes filing taxes much easier.

Chose from software like eSmart Tax, TaxSimple, TaxSlayer and more for free. They help to ensure errors aren’t made, list deductions you might be eligible for and some are even offered in Spanish.

Double Check At Least Twice

Before sending in your taxes via mail or electronically, it’s always a good idea to check and recheck your inputs to avoid errors.

What tips do you have for filing your taxes? We’d love it if you shared them!

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