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DIY Your Taxes without Missing a Deduction

DIY Your Taxes without Missing a Deduction
This year the filing deadline has been extended to April
18th since the 15th falls on a weekend and that Sunday is Easter. So you are
afforded a few extra days this year. So get busy and get your taxes done
yourself. Here are some tips on how to do that and not miss any deductions.
Pick the right
software program
. Unless you qualify to use one of the FREE tax program
versions chances are you will be paying for a program. All programs have
different versions and they have a “help me choose” wizard to match you with
the best version for your circumstances. TurboTax tends to cost a bit more but
tax experts like it the best. It is “user-friendly” and walks you through every
option based on your answers to their questions. These programs are not
fail-safe but are as good as the information you input into it. You can also
purchase audit help or additional insurance if you feel things won’t go well.
Be aware of all
possible deductions
. Get a copy of the Form 1040, the Schedule A and a
Schedule C if you own your business. Review these forms and highlight areas
where you might be able to a deduction. For example, homeowners can take
mortgage interest, property taxes, if buying a new home some closing costs or
if you sold a home some of those costs also. The IRS provides Publication
as a guideline for deductions connected to owning a home.
FREE tax
programs are an option
…but you have to meet special criteria such as an
adjusted gross income below a specific threshold – most typically $62,200.
TurboTax has a FREE option but income threshold is $31,000. H&R Block,
Jackson Hewitt and TaxACT also have FREE versions. Watch out for other imposed
restrictions such as age of your home or state of repair to qualify to use the
FREE versions. Also watch for extra costs like being charged to file a state
return or charges for customer service support.
Filing an
extension might be a good decision
. If you find that you are up against the
deadline and still not finished you can file an extension. But note these
instructions: (1) file the extension before or on April 15th to avoid late
filing penalty of 5% of your outstanding balance due each month you fail to
file, (2) if you are going to owe money, pay as much as you can by April 15th
to avoid getting a late payment penalty of 0.05% interest, (3) make
arrangements to complete your taxes and file by October 15th to avoid adding
extra interest payments.
E-Filing is
. You have probably already been e-filing but here are the benefits;
24 hours after you e-file you can look at “Where’s My Refund” online to check on your
return status and you’ll get your refund back faster. E-filing also cuts down
on filing mistakes since most DIY programs have a final check that they run and
scour your returns for errors. Answer or review all flagged errors in the
program because these are items that will be flagged by the IRS. Snail mail
take up to six weeks.
So stop procrastinating and get your taxes at least started
if not finished. NOTE: The IRS will begin to release Earned Income Tax Credit
and Additional Child Tax Credit refunds starting February 15. However, these
refunds likely won’t arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards until the
week of February 27
These are just a few of the events for February. For notice
on events by day LIKE our Facebook page @VictoriaCottlesCorner.
And remember if you, a friend or family member need
assistance with selling or buying a home
I can help
. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

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