Surely not only accountants enjoy tax season right?
Now that the 2017 tax season is here, don’t freak out if you don’t feel prepared. As long as you organize now and use some of the following tips, you’ll be less stressed when it comes time to fork over your tax return to Uncle Sam.
Make Sure Your Filing Status is Correct
This is definitely not something to mess around with because your filing status is what pretty much determines how much you pay in taxes. Other than that, getting this wrong may mean you’d be susceptible for an audit (and who likes those?).
This one simple status signals to the IRS how much credits and deductions you can claim as well as the types of forms to fill out. If you’re not sure what filing status you are, head on over to the IRS website to confirm.
Making Filing Easy
Whether or not you use tax filing software, e-filing can save you time and money. In fact, if you’re owed a tax refund, you can get that much faster. There are lots of reputable companies (Like Turbotax and H&R Block) that can help you fill out the forms you need and file it.
Keep in mind that not everyone can e-file. Things such as amended returns and part-year state returns will require that you file a paper return. Make sure you check with the IRS and see what you need for your specific situation.
Adjust Withholding and Exemptions
Make sure you’re changing your withholding status if you think you’re going to get a large refund. If you’re expecting to get money from claiming the earned income tax credit (ETIC) or any child tax credits. Right now the law states that the IRS has to hold all refunds until February 15, so make sure you’ve got everything correct before you file.
Also take this time to look at your tax exemptions, as that reduces your taxable income which will affect how much taxes you pay. For example, the number of children or your marital status will affect how much you’re allowed to exempt.
Tax fraud is more common that you think, so make sure you protect yourself. If you’ve received an Identity Protection Pin (IP Pin) before, you need to make sure to write this number down on your tax return on all tax returns, including future ones. This number is assigned by the IRS to certain taxpayers to help them prevent fraudulent returns filed under your Social Security number. This pin will change every year so make sure you watch your mailbox or head over to the IRS website to get it.
It’s Ok to Get an Accountant
Depending on how complicated your situation is, there’s nothing wrong with asking an accountant to help you sort out your taxes and help you file them. Make sure that they’ve got the proper licenses in your state of residence and that you’ve at least talked to them before agreeing to let them help you. You are ultimately responsible for what happens to your taxes, so make sure to choose someone that you can trust.