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Last Minute Tax Tip Roundup

 

 

Are you a tax procrastinator? Or a perfectionist who has been working on your taxes for months? Luckily, you still have a little more than five weeks to file. To help you make the deadline with hopefully a bit less stress, here is a quick roundup of some helpful tips:

  • Look into whether you qualify for any tax refunds, such as the energy efficient home improvement credit. That tip and more are in this refund video recap from CNNMoney.

  • Are you supporting someone else? Read, “Slacker boyfriend may be tax-deductible” on MSN Money.

  • Get your refund faster by filing electronically and setting up direct deposit. Also, if you’ve started your own business, you can deduct certain items as business expenses. Those tips and 8 more are on US News.

  • Be extra cautious about protecting your identity since you are compiling so much sensitive personal information. Keep your firewall and malware software up-to-date on your laptop if you e-file, and if you’ll be mailing in hard copies, take your letter to the mail directly rather than letting it sit in your mailbox. More safety tips on Time.

  • If preparing your taxes yourself, use software that lets you to speak to an actual person if you have any questions. Also make sure the software is set up for e-filing, and it’s an added benefit if they have an audit guarantee available.

  • If you are in college or if you have a child in school, you can use the American opportunity tax credit or the lifetime learning credit. Since credits have more savings than deductions, these are must haves to those who are eligible. Read more on the credits at CollegeBoard.com.

  • And don't forget to report your interest income, especially if it's awesome because you Kasasa! There is a detailed look at which forms you need and how to report it at Investopedia.

 

And to make things even easier next year, get organized now:

  • Create separate email folders for any receipts (including breaking that down further into donations, business expenses, etc.).

  • For your electronic files, keep a taxes folder on your computer and create a new sub-folder for each year.

  • Save hard copies in divided folders as well, using new folders for each year.

  • Once you receive a tax statement, put it in the appropriate folder immediately so you don’t lose track of it. W-2’s and bank interest income statements are small and easy to lose.

  • Consider purchasing a scanner with software, like the Neat Desk, which can scan and automatically organize your tax documents.

 

Tags: Taxes