Tax Day is just around the corner and with life being unpredictable, filing your taxes may not be the first thing on your “to-do” list. According to the IRS 20 to 25 percent of taxpayers file in the final two weeks of tax season. So, if you’re one of the many taxpayers who hasn’t filed yet, we put together a few last minute preparation tips to help you get on track with your taxes this year.
Know the deadline and have necessary documents
Tuesday, April 17th 2018 is when taxes are due so mark your calendars if you haven’t already. Necessary documents you should gather include:
- W-2 form from your employer.
- 1099 form for other sources of income (interest, dividends or contract/freelance work).
- 1098 form for mortgage interest and property taxes paid if you own a home.
- 1098-E that shows your student loan interest paid (if you have federal student loans).
- 1095 form that shows health insurance coverage.
- Receipts for any charitable contributions made.
All of these forms may seem a bit overwhelming but they are crucial documents to have during tax time. Having the forms beforehand can help make the process a little bit easier.
Hire a Professional
The pros are better equipped with tax knowledge than a computer program. Here’s why it’s more beneficial to hire a tax professional:
- Tax professionals can help you save time and money.
- Your tax preparation fees may be deductible.
- They can offer you personalized advice.
- A tax professional can help you plan all year and for future years.
- Hiring a professional reduces errors and mistakes.
- A professional can also offer you support in the event of an audit.
Beware of Careless Errors & Take Breaks
You want to make sure that there are no typos or number errors. Be careful when entering certain information and data. If you need to, have someone double check everything. When working on taxes last minute, you have a higher chance of making a mistake.
Always take a break if necessary. With all of the numbers to process, it’s easy to transpose a digit or make other mistakes that could cost you later on. Step away from the computer for some time, that way you can come back with a clear head and fresh eyes.
Start planning now for next year
Don’t let filing last minute become a habit. The more prepared you are, the easier and less stressful it will be. Keep these key tips in mind:
- Keep track of receipts, credit card bills and statements.
- Stay organized throughout the year, not just when taxes are due. If you have trouble staying organized or keeping documents together, filing cabinets and folders do the trick.
- Have a separate savings account for taxes and set money aside each month. This will help ensure that you have enough money to pay your tax bill.
- If you plan on hiring a tax accountant, do it well in advance so that you won’t have to worry about who can fit you in, last minute.
The tax professionals at Bodine Perry are ready to help. Call 855-851-8318 or visit www.bodineperry.com to get started.