It’s everyone’s favorite season again…tax season! With only a month left to file your taxes, it’s time to prepare.This year’s deadline for filing your taxes is April 15th, 2020 (It is possible to file for an extension but not recommended due to additional cost and chance of denial, read more information on tax extensions).
The following tips can help you make sure you file your taxes correctly and on time this year…
Gather All the Necessary Receipts and Documents
Getting all your documents in order will help the process of filing move swiftly and smoothly. The following documents will determine how much you receive back (or owe) the IRS. The IRS doesn’t require you to send in your receipts and documents for deductions, but you will need them if you are audited.
“Tax deduction: Subtract tax deductions from your income before you figure the amount of tax you owe.”
“Audit: a review/examination of an organization’s or individual’s accounts and financial information to ensure information is reported correctly according to the tax laws and to verify the reported amount of tax is correct.”
Here is a checklist of the documents you will need to properly file your taxes. You may have various sources of income so here’s what you’ll need:
- Form W-2 for wages/salary, federal and state tax withholding, tips and earned income credit (Your employer should send this to you by January 31, 2019)
- Form 1099-G if you are unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits
- Form 1099-Misc for compensation from freelance work (You should receive a form from all of your clients)
- Form 1099-R for annuity income, IRA and pension
- Form 1099-Div for those who have earned dividends
- Form 1099-B, 1099-S for income from sales of property and stock
- Form W-2G for any income from gambling
- Any other income from prizes and awards (like lottery winnings), jury duty pay, alimony, or rentals
If you’re going to include dependents (children or elderly) on your tax return, these are the documents you will need to provide:
- Classroom expenses
- Childcare payment records (this includes the care provider’s tax ID number)
- Adoption papers (if applicable)
- Form 8332 to show that a custodial parent is releasing their right to claim the child to you, the noncustodial parent (if applicable)
- Any alimony payments that have an ex-spouse’s social security number
- Retirement account contributions
- Any death certificates
Living expenses, medical, and donations:
- Educational expenses
- Unreimbursed medical bills
- Property taxes and mortgage interest
- Charitable donations
Quick Tip: It would also help if you set aside a specific folder or box to keep your receipts and documents in. This way next year you will be even more organized and prepared!
Determine Which Tax Bracket You Are In
How are you filing your taxes this year? Are you filing as a single, jointly if you are married, or as an independent contractor? Each one of these ways to file falls into a specific tax bracket. Tax brackets define what rate, or percentage, that you have pay in tax, based on the income you earn. Under our progressive tax system, the more money an earner makes, the higher percentage of tax is owed on every extra dollar of income. Calculate what tax bracket you are in here.
Figure Out If You’re Going To File a Federal or State Return
You need to figure out whether you need to file a federal and state return. This is dependent on your age, your income earned minus any deductions (adjusted gross income), and your filing status. “The federal government and the majority of states have income taxes, but their rules and rates can vary widely. Federal taxes are progressive, with higher rates of tax on higher levels of income. Some states have a progressive tax system, while others impose a flat tax rate on all income.” – Investopedia
The best part about filing your taxes is receiving your hard earned money back! This shouldn’t be a process you dread. Checkexpress wants you to enjoy your money. If you need further assistance, please contact us at one of our many locations!
Once you receive your income tax check, learn how Checkexpress can help you put that money to good use…
We can help you quickly cash your check! Our fast check to cash services will have you in and out in no time! Cash my check now!
Transfer your tax return to a family member (near or far)! Securely send money directly to any person or business using a money transfer service at Checkexpress! Money transfers can be sent across the world and are usually available in as little as 10 minutes.
Help your elder family member expedite their tax return safely with our many services! Learn how to guide them with their finances here.
Teenagers and first time taxpayers: Upload your tax return to a prepaid card to prevent overspending! Help my teen with overspending!