The biggest tax deadline of the year is right around the corner and TaxBandits wants to make sure you are successful this tax season and years to come.
Whether it is a personal income tax, business tax return or tax extension, we know the best way to tackle the April 17th tax day with ease. Use these tax filing tips and enjoy a successful Tax Day!
Tax Day Filing Tips
Gathering the documentation and tax information you need is the main component to successful tax filing. There’s nothing more frustrating than starting the filing process and wasting hours or days searching for that one piece of info that seemed to suddenly disappear.
The first step to organizing your paperwork is to assess the types of documents and receipts that you have. Paperwork can be categorized in various ways; here are some of the documents you may need:
- tax filings for previous years
- bank or loan accounts or mortgage statements
- assets sales receipts of gains/losses (residential property, vehicles, etc.)
- deduction/expense receipts
- interest paid/interest deductions (i.e. loan interest)
Not that type of receipt, silly! [LOL]. Although a good screenshot can come in handy when needed, it is more important to keep financial receipts and records on hand to calculate your taxes.
The length of time that you keep financial records is based on why you originally needed them. For example, annual tax returns, insurance claims, investments, etc., should be kept beyond tax season. Remember, the ultimate purpose of keeping your records is to have documentation for the IRS.
It is suggested that financial records be kept for at least three years. If you are self-employed or file for an exempt organization (with employees), keep you filing records for four years.
Organize Your Records
Organization is the key to success here. It’s suggested that you sort financial records and receipts based on how soon you may need them.
Keep up with Active File documents! These include documents that you will actively need in the coming year (i.e. W-2s, expense receipts, etc.). Having these documents in multiple formats, whether it’s printed, scanned, or electronic, is always helpful.
Once you have filed or the tax year has ended, you can safely discard the following documents:
- Pay stubs
- Bank Statements
- Receipts (once your taxes have been filed, paper receipts should be shredded)
- Loan Interest Payments
- Investment Statements
Financial records that you do not need in the present moment, but may need to be accessible in an audit, should be kept in a digital format and not in a physical space. Scanned documentation can be stored on your computer or uploaded to a cloud service.
File A Tax Extension If You Need More Time
Let’s forget about the anticipated sales pitch and promo for a minute.
Seriously, if you do not have enough time to file your income tax return, you can easily apply for 6 additional months time to file with IRS Form 4868 and have until October 15th, 2018 to file.
While Form 4868 does give you more time to file your return, it does NOT extend the time allotted for making tax payments. If you owe taxes you must make a payment by your original filing date (April 17th) to avoid expensive tax penalties and interest.
TaxBandits processes thousands of extensions each year and would love to add yours to our list so you can file safely, securely, and quickly. Click here to get started today.
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