Tax time is upon us, many of us will be seeking tax advice before the April 18 filing date. While we always recommend consulting a professional tax advisor, here are a few tips to follow this tax season.
1. Get organized. Being organized can relieve a lot of the stress around tax season. Gather up any information you’ll need when filing your taxes: receipts, canceled checks and other documents that support income or deductions you’re claiming on your return. Your W-2, 1098 or 1099 forms soon should’ve been in the mail by January 31st. If you do not receive them soon, contact the company sending them.
2. Consider your filing options. Whether you e-file, use a tax filing software program, hand everything over to an accountant, or just fill out the paperwork by hand yourself, make sure you have everything in place for using this option long before the April 15th deadline.
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3. Keep up to date on tax laws. Dozens of tax breaks were extended for 2014, including deductions for teachers who purchase classroom supplies and higher education deductions. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant available on the IRS website to find answers to your tax questions. In addition, IRS Publication 17 (Your Federal Income Tax) is a comprehensive resource for taxpayers and can be found at irs.gov.
4. Avoid common mistakes. According to CNN Money, these common mistakes can cost you a lot of money down the road: not filing on time, wrong information (including social security number, name, and bank account number), using the wrong filing status, not claiming the correct deductions and making math errors. Even if you are not doing your taxes yourself, it is important to closely review all information.
If you owe money or simply need a financial check-up, the professionals at Georgia’s Own Credit Union can help. Call 404.874.1166 (800.533.2062) or stop by any branch to learn about the options available to you.