Gerald Winters, Esquire, CPA
4 Easy Tips for You to Use When Filing Your Tax Returns
Tax season is almost upon us, and that means it is time to start thinking about how you plan to handle filing your tax returns this year. Often, our clients are under the assumption that filing taxes is difficult and time consuming. While in certain situations this may be true, it does not have to be! While April 15th may seem far away, in reality, the deadline to file will be here sooner than you think. To help you prepare, let us share four tips you can follow to easily file your tax returns.
- Gather your tax documents.
You will likely begin receiving tax documents in the mail soon, if you have not already. Employers are required to send out W-2 and 1099 forms for 2018 by January 31st. If you do not see any in your mailbox, be sure to check online. Some employers and companies are switching to digital W-2 and 1099 forms, and this may help make it easier for you to keep track of your documents. Remember, that each notification you receive about your earnings will also be sent to the IRS, so do not ignore any forms you receive!
- Prepare ahead of time.
One of the most important steps about filing your tax returns is to be prepared. It is crucial that you do not wait until the last minute to review the accuracy of the information on your documents. If, for example, some information is wrong on your W-2 or 1099 form, do you think you would have adequate time to correct it before the filing deadline arrives? Unfortunately, in most cases, the answer is “no.”
Also, if you plan to open an individual retirement account, and subsequently make a tax-deductible contribution, it is important to do this well before the deadline. If you do not, you may risk the contribution appearing in your account after the deadline passes.
- Be aware of changes to the tax code.
At the beginning of 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act went into effect. This allowed for changes to be made to the tax code, including updates to income tax brackets. Some other changes you should consider include an increase in the child tax credit and an increase in the standard deduction through 2025. We encourage you to take some time to determine how these changes may affect you, and contact us with your questions.
- Be sure to file before the deadline.
The deadline to file your tax return this year is Monday, April 15th. Write this date down in your planner, place it on a sticky note on your refrigerator, or commit it to heart, whatever you need to do to make sure you do not miss this important deadline. If you do need more time, however, you can request a six-month extension from the IRS. By doing this, you should be prepared to experience a delay in the due date for your tax return.
These are just a few tips to help guide you when filing your tax return this year. If you have any questions or are in need of further advice about your taxes, do not hesitate to get in touch with our office.