Tax Season is coming to a close, so it’s time to take a look at your taxes. If you haven’t gotten them filed yet (or you haven’t even started), there are some last minute Tax Tips to ensure you’re in good shape.
Tax Tips – Collect All Income
You might have income coming in from several different locations. The surest way to be audited down the road is to hide some of your income from the IRS. This includes any freelance work that you might have done during different parts of the year. A 1099 form should be issued to you, especially since a copy is being submitted to the IRS from the person issuing it. This means that there really is no hiding it from the IRS.
Check Your Deductions
There are all sorts of deductions available to you – and you might be missing more than you think. This doesn’t have to be the case, though. If you donated anything (books, clothes, furniture), it is something that is considered a charitable contribution. If you didn’t get a form, it’s not a big deal. Just know the value and have the name and address of where you donated. If you have a child that is in daycare, those childcare expenses are deductible as well.
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Some other commonly overlooked deductions include:
- Mortgage interest
- Theft and casualty loss
- Energy efficient home improvements
- HSA contributions
- Tax preparation fees
The more deductions you qualify for, the better it will be for your refund. At the very least, it can minimize what you have to pay. This means you want to work with an accountant who will help you determine what deductions are available to you.
Contribute to an IRA
It’s not too late to get some money into an IRA account. This is something that you can do up until April 18 for the 2016 tax year. This means you can lower your taxable income by placing up to $5500 into an IRA account before you actually file your taxes.
Look at Your Student Loans
If you’re a student, you get to deduct some or all of your education expenses. Even if you’ve graduated but you’re still paying off your tuition, there’s a benefit to you. Gather up all of your student loan bills because the interest is something to include on your taxes. You should have received a form directly from the institution that handles your student loans. If you didn’t get one, be sure to get on the phone with them – or request one online.
File an Extension Early
If it took you longer to find all of your receipts or you simply haven’t had time to sit down with an accountant, you do have the option of filing an extension. However, you don’t want to wait until the day before taxes are due. Plan ahead and make the request now so you’re not caught with problems later on.
Taxes are complicated, but they don’t have to be. With a few tips and an accountant who will guide you through the process, you can be filed in no time.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, where you can get personal checks and business checks.