tax time...go ol' Uncle Sam is back to take his cut of your hard earned money. Unless you overpaid him during the year, then you will get some money back. Too bad he doesn't pay you the interest he earned on YOUR money during the year. If only....
This year taxes are due April 15, 2009
You should have all your tax information by now...the deadline to have it in the mail was January 31st.
Here are some helpful tips to make this grueling task a bit easier:
- Know the most recent tax law changes...there were 16 changes for individuals in 2008 (see http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/content/0,,id=178012,00.html). It is important to know these...it could mean substantial savings.
- Hunt for last years return. If you e-file, last years information might be needed. For those e-filing make sure you use a reputable site, I recommend going to http://www.irs.gov/. They have several sites they recommend, if your one of the lucky ones you can even file for FREE.
- Gather proof of ALL income and expenses. Throughout the year I put all tax related information in a little folder so I know exactly where it is when it is time to file.
- Determine which form is for you...1040EZ, 1040A, etc. Based on changes in your life during the year you might need to file a different form than years past. Each form will have instructions that can help you determine if that form is for you.
- Gather all the applicable schedules that need to be included with your return.
- Fill-out return and applicable schedules.
- Double check your return and schedules...it doesn't hurt to take a second look.
- All parties should sign/date the return.
- Make copies of the return, schedules, statements and all receipts that you will be sending to the IRS. You want to have this in case you get audited (god forbid).
- Send forms, schedules, required support to the IRS and payment (if you owe) . The address is typical at the end of the instructions manual, it varies by state so pay attention.
To help you out here are some deductions that are commonly overlooked by taxpayers.
- State sales taxes
- Reinvested dividends
- Out of pocket charitable contributions
- Student loan interest paid by mom and dad
- Moving expenses to take first job
- Military reservists travel expenses
- Child-care credit
- Estate tax on income in respect of a decedent
- State tax you paid last Spring
- Refinancing points
- Jury pay paid to employer
Note: Commonly overlooked deductions are from Kiplinger.com