2016 is going to be the year we vote for our next President; it can also be the year we get our tax return ASAP. The tax laws change every year, but this one isn’t much different. Read below to learn about prepping for taxes the right way.
…We mean paperwork. There can be quite a few things to collect, depending on your work circumstances, family, and lifestyle. At the very least, you’ll need your W2s and/or 1099, and records of any other income. Don’t forget receipts for deductions!
We all rely on spellcheck, but you need laser focus on the accuracy of your tax filing. Many people miss-state their SSN, miscalculate taxable income, and enter data on the wrong lines. It can happen to anyone. Fill out your forms carefully, and consider getting your SO or trusted friend to read it over. At the very least, fill everything out, and return to it the next day with a fresh perspective. Match all names, numbers, and dates to trusted sources.
This might require some research – we bet there are some you didn’t know existed. Freelancer? See if you qualify for the home office deductible. Perhaps you donated to charity – there’s another deduction. Think long and hard about your work, financial, family, and even leisure situations, where you money went and how it came in. Here are some deductions oft-overlooked.
Your employer is required to provide your W2 by January 31st and that’s also when forms open up. Once you receive it, hit the ball rolling. We can’t stress this enough – do your taxes online. It’s quick, safe, and accurate. There are plenty of online (perhaps free from the IRS) methods and softwares to do so yourself, but if you have complicated assets or work circumstances, you might want to turn it over to a professional. Make haste, but carefully.
Request your green via direct deposit instead of planning on checking the mail hungrily every day. It’s fast and requires zero hassle. Double check your bank account information (don’t confuse those bank and routing numbers), and your dough will show up in no time.
Still want to know that date of glory? If the IRS is feeling nice, and all is accurate, you’ll get your refund in a matter of weeks. Use the “Where Is My Refund”? Tool to keep a watchful eye.
This year, April 15th falls on a holiday, giving you until the 18th to file. But don’t wait until the bitter end – file now so you can throw your refund in the savings account and plan your summer getaway. P.S.: It may sound crazy, but look ahead to 2017 – we recommend a nifty folder to keep your receipts and documentation for income and expenses, or start an Excel spreadsheet.