Wow! Can you believe it’s already tax season? The first two months of 2013 has flown by quickly — I realized the other day that I needed to flip another page on the calendar and then I noticed that we are about 6 weeks away from the big tax day. This year April 15th falls on Monday. (Oh, Mondays how I love thee!) I’m setting a reminder to have everything completed and finished before then.
Next thing on my to-do list — review my tax season tips and make sure I have everything I need to get the job complete. Below are a few tax season tips I have shared in the past.
Know your dough.There are a variety of tax credits available, so it pays (literally!) to know what you’re eligible for.The earned income tax credit could score your family up to $5,000. If there’s a student in your household, don’t forget about the federal tax credit on tuition – it can be used by either the parent or the student.
Give a little, get a little. Have you ever donated anything? Make sure your inner do-gooder gets credit for helping others by saving all of your receipts for donations and charitable contributions. Even small amounts can add up and make a difference when it’s tax time!
Get ahead. Are you a single mom or single woman who cared for another dependent family member (such as a parent)? Filing as head of household can help you rack up a great tax break. To qualify for head of household status, you need to have paid more than 50% of all household expenses and support at least one dependent for at least six months out of the year.
Don’t double count. If you have a child who is filing a tax return, make sure they don’t claim themselves as a dependent if you are going to claim them as a dependent. If the IRS sees a social security number claimed twice, they’ll kick the returns back.
Invest in yourself. Didn’t stash as much as you wanted in your IRA during 2012? There’s still time to sneak it in! You have until the tax deadline to contribute to a tax-deductible individual retirement account and treat the payment as a 2012 deposit.
Treat your refund with respect. When you’re getting ready to file, remember what they say about counting chickens before they’re hatched. If you do get a refund, look first at how it can help you improve your overall financial situation. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has the urge to go a little wild when I get a nice fat refund check! But getting a refund really means you loaned Uncle Sam that money interest-free throughout the year by overpaying — so that refund check is just your own money coming back to you.
Find the right fit. That Goldilocks was on to something. If your annual tax outcome seems “too big” (a large refund) or “too small” (a big tax bill), your withholding is probably at fault. Talk with a tax professional to find out how you can adjust your withholding so that tax money works more efficiently for you.
Got questions? Get your worth on by visiting http://www.irs.gov/individuals/index.html for information and http://www.irs.gov/Help-&-Resources/Tools-&-FAQs/FAQs-for-Individuals/Frequently-Asked-Tax-Questions-&-Answers for frequently asked questions.
Savings tip: If you are a member of FTWCCU you can file your taxes online through Turbo Tax and receive step by step guidance through the process – http://www.ftwccu.org/mstinc/grp/ttob/turbotax12/