There’s just a little over a week left in the tax season. If you still have not filed, don’t worry there is still time and TurboTax has outlined these 8 last minute tax tips to get you to the finish line!
#1 Gather your documents in one place: When you sit down to file your taxes, make sure you have all the necessary documents like W-2s, 1099s, receipts for expenses, mortgage interest, and your kids’ social security numbers in front of you.
#2 Go online and e-file. According to the IRS, last tax season self-prepared tax returns were up over 5%. TurboTax makes it easy to e-file your taxes online in the convenience of your own home. You can easily and accurately jump-start your taxes with the snap of a photo and connect live via one-way video to a credentialed CPA or enrolled agent to get your toughest tax questions answered when you need it. Whether filing from a smart phone, tablet or computer, you benefit from the convenience of anytime, anywhere access with the ability to seamlessly start, stop and continue your taxes across devices. At this point, if you take your taxes to someone you most likely will have to wait in line to get your taxes filed. By going online to prepare your taxes, you can save time and money, avoiding long lines and the hassle of making an appointment.
#3 E-file with direct deposit. If you are expecting a tax refund, e-file with direct deposit is easy, secure and the fastest way to get your federal tax refund. Nine out of 10 tax refunds are issued within 21 days or less of acceptance if you e-file with direct deposit, compared to six to eight weeks for paper-filed tax returns.
#4 Double-check important information. According to the IRS, one of the top mistakes taxpayers make when rushing to meet the tax deadline is gathering incorrect Social Security numbers for their children and spouses.
Make sure you have the correct Social Security numbers when you prepare your taxes. Correct Social Security numbers are required to get valuable tax deductions, credits and exemptions.
#5 Don’t forget what you did last year. The IRS reports that the majority of taxpayers – about 75 percent – take the easy way out and take the standard deduction, but including a few additional receipts may push you over the standard deduction, lowering your tax liability.
Don’t forget about the money you shelled out for expenses like previous state tax liability paid, job search expenses, summer day camp—even the cost of moving a pet may save you money on taxes.
Remember to include charitable contributions made throughout the year (i.e. donated clothing, household goods and even mileage to and from charitable events). TurboTax ItsDeductible will help you track and accurately value your donated items.
When you file with TurboTax, you will be asked simple questions about your life and TurboTax will give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your entries.
#6 Don’t wait for Form 1095-B or 1095-C. If you have employer provided insurance, private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare you may be waiting for Form 1095-B or C, but there is no need to wait. Per the IRS you do not need to file these forms with your taxes. They are for information only so go ahead and file!
#7 File even if you owe. Remember going on extension only extends the time to file your taxes, but if you owe you are still required to pay what you owe. If you owe money, you can also ask the IRS for an installment agreement when you file your taxes. The installment agreement will allow you to pay your tax debt over six years.
Plus you may have a tax refund coming once TurboTax searches for over 350 tax deductions and credits you may be eligible for.
#8 You are not alone. Even though you are doing your own taxes at your convenience, exclusively through TurboTax SmartLook™, you can connect live via one-way video to a credentialed CPA or enrolled agent to get your toughest tax questions answered when you need it. TurboTax credentialed tax experts can also highlight key fields and next steps on the screen for you, so you can complete your tax return with confidence.
File now. Visit TurboTax.
TurboTaxLisa: Lisa Lewis is a CPA and the TurboTax Blog Editor. Lisa has 15 years of experience in tax preparation. Her success is attributed to being able to interpret tax laws and help clients better understand them. Lisa also has been a TurboTax product user for many years and understands how the software program works. In addition to extensive tax experience, Lisa also has a very well-rounded professional background. She has held positions as a public auditor, controller, and operations manager. Prior to becoming the TurboTax Blog Editor, she was a Technical Writer for the TurboTax Consumer Group and worked on a project to write new FAQs to help customers better understand tax laws. She could also be seen helping TurboTax customers with tax questions during Lifeline. For Lisa, getting timely and accurate information out to customers to help them is paramount.