Top Ten Tax Tips
There is so much to keep in mind when dealing with your annual tax drudgery. Making the decision to file your taxes online is probably the number 1 way to simplify this task.
1. Collect all relevant paperwork
Don’t wait until the last minute to begin gathering records, receipts, and other papers that you’re going to need. No matter how organized you think you've been all year, if you wait to collect your papers on the day of filing, you are bound to overlook some items.
2. Don’t toss your paperwork
Even if you get everything back and it went wonderfully and 2009 taxes are a thing of the past, don’t ditch those documents that you used this year. Store them for five or even seven years. You never know how important those documents are until you're asked for them and you've thrown them away.
3. Be prepared to file as soon as you can:
People who file early are going to get their returns back much sooner than those who wait until the middle of February. If you know you can file early, do it. It can mean the difference between a couple weeks and a month and a half.
4. File before the deadline:
If you file and pay late, the IRS can stick you with a 4.5% monthly fee of tax owed. If for any reason you can’t finish on time then you need to file form 4868 for a six month extension which gives you until October 2010.
5. Find the right forms:
You won't find all of the IRS forms at the library and post office, and you may not even know which specific forms you need. You can view and download any forms from large catalog offered by the internal revenue service dating all the way back to 1990.
6. Consider your options:
Do you really need to spend hours crunching numbers at H&R Block this year? Are you willing to wait a month or two to hear back from a paper return? Or can you get everything done with an online service?
7. Don’t be afraid to itemize:
Sure it’s easier to go ahead with a standard deduction, but if you itemize, you stand to save a lot more money. If your qualified expenses add up to $5,700 as a single taxpayer, or $11,400 for married couples, it’s completely worth your time.
8. Don’t be afraid to deduct home office expenses:
You’d be surprised by the many different deductions that qualify under the fairly loose rules of eligibility.
9. Don’t rush:
If mistakes find their way into your finished filed product, results are going to frustratingly slowed.
10. Try e-filing:
There are a few online services, but if you use one like TurboTax Online, you’ll be getting the automatic and 100% guaranteed performance that’s continually ranked number one in the country. Less than 1% of e-filed taxes are found with mistakes. You’ll get your return faster than when filing by paper. And they even have software that handles anything from the simplest individual income tax return, up to corporation and business taxes.
You’ll be treated to automatic searches for any overlooked deductions and credits, as well as live filing and audit support. If you want to know more, check out TurboTax Online's award winning library of tax articles and how-to’s today.