With this past weekend marking the first day of Summer, the season is now officially in full swing. Bring out the barbeque grills, the pool and beach parties, and plenty of sunscreen… for the love of everything dear, don’t forget the sunscreen. The sun is blazing brightly and, if you’re in the South like we are, the heat can be explained simply as “ridiculous.” No matter where you are though, you have to protect yourself while having fun in the sun.
In addition, if you happened to file an extension for your tax return, then your deadline will be coming soon after the summer months. No point in having all this extra time just to be burned during the Summer by not being prepared. Just like you would protect your skin from the sun, why not protect yourself from any tax mishaps this Summer as well?
Here are ten tax tips for individual taxpayers, brought to you by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), that will keep you on your toes this Summer and better prepared as your tax deadline looms ever closer.
1. Get Organized
Place your W-2 and 1099 forms where you can easily find them and keep decent records of your deductions. With good records, it’s less likely that you’ll overpay; you’ll be able to easily answer any questions from the IRS.
2. Don’t Be Late
In this case, you’ve already filed for an extension so there are no second chances at this point, my friend. With the extension, your tax deadline has been extended by six months from April 15 to October 15 at midnight. To avoid tax penalties, be sure you file on time… don’t let your extension go to waste.
3. Protect Your ID
Your records include important identification information that identity thieves would love to get their hands on. Keep in mind, the IRS will never send you an email asking for your personal and financial information.
4. Investigate Details for Filing as a Legally Married, Same-Sex Couple (if applicable)
Legally married, same-sex couples don’t have to live in the same state in which they were legally married to qualify; however, there are IRS rules that exclude domestic partnerships or civil unions. For more information about state income tax laws, contact your local certified public accountant (CPA).
5. Prepare and Hold
It’s not uncommon if you received corrected 1099 forms late in the tax filing season, which may be why you filed an extension to begin with. In any case, it might be in your best interest to fill out your tax form now and then play “The Waiting Game” as your deadline gets closer. While waiting, you can make as many changes necessary without having to file an amended return.
6. Inspect Your Tax Breaks
Don’t assume that you can claim the same deductions and exemptions just because you got them last year. Exemptions are phasing out at certain income levels and new limits can be imposed on deductions on a regular basis.
For example, to claim medical and dental deductions, they must exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income unless you or your spouse is 65 or older, then it remains 7.5%.
7. Review, Review, and Even Then… Review
Two of the most common mistakes made by taxpayers are using incorrect social security numbers and incorrect calculations. These mistakes can significantly slow up the refund process, but, at the same time, they’re the easiest to correct. Take a few moments to double-check your return before filing. It will save you from tax-induced headaches later on.
8. Use Direct Deposit
Point. Blank. Period. The fastest way to get a refund is to have it deposited directly into your bank account.
9. Be As Accurate As Possible
Don’t guess at any information required on your return because what you don’t know could cost you in the end. A local CPA can help you determine how the tax law applies to your specific situation, including whether you qualify for one or more of the special provisions in the tax code. You can also find official tax information by visiting the IRS website.
10. File Electronically
E-filing is the easiest way to file a tax return. You’ll avoid the long lines at the post office, save on postage and, of course, get your return faster.
Breeze through this hot Summer without a tax care in the World by e-filing your W-2 and Form 1099 with ExpressTaxFilings. We work closely with the IRS to provide you with the utmost in security, safety, and accuracy when e-filing your tax forms.
For assistance with e-filing any of our available tax forms, contact our support team of live professionals at our office located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. You can call (704) 839-2270 Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm EST, email at email@example.com, or live chat with us at www.expresstaxfilings.com.