Some of us are born procrastinators – others just like the thrill of getting things done last minute. Or perhaps your W2 got lost in the mail. Whatever your reason for filing your taxes right before the deadline, check out these pointers to maximize your return and avoid missing out on other benefits. You’ll thanks us after you get your refund!
We can’t stress enough that there are several deductions and credits that many people don’t take advantage of – ignorance is not bliss (especially for your wallet) in this case. For low and moderate income taxpayers, Earned Income Tax Credit is a big help. The same goes for Savers credit, claimed on Form 8880, for these taxpayers who contributed to a retirement plan. The American Opportunity Tax Credit, claimed on Form 8863, and other education tax benefits, are often not taken advantage of. Check out their specific requirements at IRS.gov. For those with a beating green heart, big breaks are available if you have renewable home energy systems and all-electric cars.
The Affordable Care Act has given millions of Americans health coverage, and has also added lines on Forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ. The law affects your return as it requires reporting health insurance coverage, and possibly: claiming an exemption from the coverage requirement; making an individual shared responsibility payment; claiming the premium tax credit; and reconciling advance payments of the premium tax credit.
Donating to charity both warms your heart and can boost your tax return. If you’re claiming this deduction, ue the IRS tool to see if the charity is eligible. There are also other rules, like obtaining written consent for cash donations over $250, and keeping records. You still have time to donate if you haven’t already!
Eligible taxpayers have until April 15 to contribute to either a Roth or traditional individual retirement arrangement (IRA). You’ll be glad you put money away for later, and get to include this in your filing. Find limits and examples at IRS.gov.
We’ve mentioned it before – getting direct deposit is the quickest, safest way to get your refund check. Simply put in your routing and checking numbers (don’t confuse or enter them incorrectly!), and track it with the IRS tool. No more waiting by the mailbox, or wondering if the mailman pocketed it.
Gather your documents and get started; April 15th is around the corner!