You should always be well prepared prior to the April 15 tax deadline, and by planning ahead, you avoid the last-minute rush, where mistakes can occur. Organization, thorough recordkeeping and keeping aware of possible deductions can all help to optimize your tax filing. The faster you process your return, the faster you can receive your refund check.
Receipts can seem minor, but if not organized properly, they can cause major problems with your tax returns. They can seem like such a nuisance that you wonder if you need them. Yet, they are necessary when you claim something for tax purposes. One method for filing is holding paperwork in a monthly file system; however, after a while this can become overwhelming. Going a paperless route may be the best choice so you don't end up drowning in paper. Neat Receipts offer services that sort documents like receipts to Mac and PC users, and the service can be done right at home.
Keep Excellent Records
Get a filing cabinet. No matter how many online tools you may have, you always need to have some documents on hard copy. Keep your paper files simple. You don't need a fancy filing system to impress anyone like an accountant. You should primarily use just four main file categories: Receipts, Taxes, Contracts and Bills. Depending on how paperless your process is, you may only need these few files for your records. Always set aside time for filing, because your files are not going to file themselves. Schedule to get your paperwork off your desk and into your filing system, computer, shredder or trash.
Check for Possible Deductions
Every year, during tax filing season, countless tax returns are filed by people who fail to claim all of the deductions and federal tax credits they may be entitled to. People overpay their taxes due to missed tax breaks and savings incentives. So make a list of possible deductions you should always be aware of and be ready to include them for your filing date. Possible deductions to use are education tax benefits, including the Hope credit, Lifetime Learning credit, student loan interest, child tax credit, medical expenses, earned income credit, state and local taxes, self-employed business expenses and saver's credit.
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