Cary, NC – In January, taxpayers begin receiving the documents they will need to file their 2012 tax returns. Here are some tips that will make sure you are prepared whether you file electronically, use Turbo Tax, or hire a professional to save you the headaches.
Top 7 Tax Filing Tips for 2013
Its never too early to get your act together for preparing your taxes. Maybe you aren’t very organized about filing your receipts and bills. Now is a great time to start finding those documents that can help save you some money with the IRS. April is months away, so use the dark dreary days of January and February to get your act together. You’ll be glad you did. We spoke with our friends at Smith & Smith, CPA and Blake Smith, CPA offers this bit of advice for tax filers:
Due to the new IRS rules and regulations, the first day to electronically file is January 30th. This day is also the first day the IRS acknowledgements of e-filed returns.
1. Have the Right Documents
Make sure you have the right documents before you file. W-2’s are required to be to the taxpayer by the end of January, so don’t prepare a return until you end of January if you haven’t received all your W-2 form.
2. Do You Need a Tax Preparer
Decide if you need a tax preparer. You may want professional assistance if your tax return is more complicated then the standard E-Z form (ie you started a business, bought or sold a home, sold some stock or have a rental property).
3. Electronic Filing
E-file and use direct deposit. Both will help you get your return faster and leave less room for error.
4. File Even If You May Owe
While both failure-to-file and fail-to-pay penalties exist, the first is generally worse than the second.
Itemization can mean a bigger return. This requires some work on your part, but it might be worth it.
6. Childcare Itemization
You can recoup childcare cost. If you need to send your child to daycare or summer camp so that you can work or look for a job, the government will credit up to 35 percent of your costs.
7. Document Charitable Donations
Get a receipt for charitable donations. If you’re giving $250 or more to a charity you love, make sure you get a written statement indicating the amount you contributed. The receipt must also describe any goods or services the charity gave you in exchange for the gift, along with an estimate of how much those goods are worth
Examine Your Investments
Tax Time is also an excellent time to take a fresh look at your investments. Whether these are trust funds, IRA’s, 529 or just regular mutual funds and stocks that are taxed each year on their capital Gains. Maybe its time to dump some of them? Or move things around. Many of us – if we have any investments past a company controlled 401K- never take the time to evaluate our funds’ performances. Take the time now. You won’t regret it if you pitch a dog investment in favor of something more in line with your anticipated financial needs- be they this year or in twenty.