Just like everything about 2018, tax season somehow managed to sneak up on us. Each year I vow not to wait until the last minute, and here I am once again procrastinating as long as possible. With just a few weeks left before the April 17th deadline, I thought I would share some last minute tax filing tips. Whether you have already filed or have not even thought about starting, you will want to scroll down because the tips shared by TurboTax expert Lisa Greene-Lewis can be used this year or in years to come.
Consideration provided by TurboTax.
Last Minute Tax Filing Tips
- 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.
- Go online and e-file. You can easily and accurately jump-start your taxes with the snap of a photo and watch the information automatically import to the correct tax forms. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don’t forget what you did last year. The IRS reports that about 75 percent of taxpayers take the easy way out and take the standard deduction, but including a few additional receipts may push you over the standard deduction, further 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).
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- You are not alone. Even though you are doing your own taxes at your convenience, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered from the comfort of your couch. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents can also review, sign, and file your tax return.
THREE of you will win a TurboTax gift card valued at $180. This will give you online access to a TurboTax LIVE CPA or Enrolled Agent should you have any questions regarding your taxes. To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form and leave me a comment with why you want to use TurboTax.
US Residents only. Duplicates and comments not including the above information will be disqualified. Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment in a reasonable amount of time, send me an email. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Please note that winners must respond within 48 hours of being announced/contacted or another winner will be drawn.
Last Minute Tax Filing Tips provided by Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA and TurboTax expert.