Tax time is in full effect. Have you done yours yet? I got mine done 2 months ago, because ours are pretty simple. There are SOME advantages to not having a load of assets and income. Here’s five quick tips for doing your taxes:
- Gather together all of your important financial documents that may assist you in doing your taxes correctly. If you realized that you didn’t do a very good job of keeping track of this time, take the time to set up a folder or designated area to keep all of your charitable donation receipts, W-2’s, investment returns, and other important financial records.
- If you are self-employed, have a tax specialist help you! You want to make sure that you are paying exactly what you owe. Also, make sure that you are doing your quarterly estimates and sending those in, and if you are not, have the tax specialist help you do this in the future.
- If you have a fairly easy tax return, take advantage of the slew of free e-tax filing websites listed on the IRS website at irs.gov.
- Take your time doing them. One mistake might cost you an audit, and no one wants to go through that!
- Don’t overlook deductions and credits that may apply to you! This article from Kiplinger’s Magazine lists 13 deductions often overlooked by the lay taxpayer. Also, don’t forget to check out if you qualify for Hope or Lifetime learning credit, Earned Income Tax credit, and others. Usually the way that I check to see qualifications for certain credits is I type the name of the credit in Google and I can usually find any information that I want about that particular tax credit.
The good news is that it will be all over for most of us on April 15th, and remember that if you truly won’t be able to finish them by then, you can always apply for an extension by the government. The key thing to remember is that you need to evaluate your personal tax situation and make the decision as to whether or not you need professional help or if you can conquer it on your own. Taxes are not as complicated as they look most of the time, but a few mistakes or not applying deductions and credits when warranted can prove to be costly.