Tax season is (quickly) coming to a close – have you filed yet?
Taxpayers have until April 17, 2018 to file their tax return, but waiting until the last minute can make post-deadline season a nightmare. Even when complying with tax laws, having less time to prepare and file the return can create serious beef with the IRS. Here are five reasons to file your taxes sooner than later this season:
- Prevent ID theft: Identity theft is real, and the IRS can’t shield every taxpayer from falling prey. Once a fraudulent tax return in your name reaches the IRS, they may accept it. To minimize the risk of a criminal taking your identity and money, file your return as early in the season as possible. The IRS won’t accept any other return filed in your name by scammers.
- Get an early tax refund: The IRS issued more than $426 billion in refunds for the 2016 fiscal year – and in this case, the early bird gets the worm. The sooner you file, the sooner you get your refund money and can spend it. Hello, new shoes.
- Avoid IRS penalties: If you file your tax return a few days before the April deadline, your yearly tax duty isn’t necessarily over. The IRS may send you a notice that you owe more than you paid, usually due to mistakes on your tax forms. If you have to file an amended return and miss the filing deadline, the IRS begins to charge penalties and interest on the taxes due. And learning you owe more – and then even more – is no fun.
- Make fewer mistakes: With adequate time to prepare and review your tax return, you minimize the chance of errors (and penalties). If you’re filing in a rush, you could miss a credit or deduction that could save you hundreds in taxes. Simple errors can also lead to an audit.
- Have more time for expert help: The longer you wait, the narrower your filing options become. Many of the CPAs in your area may be already booked, leaving you with fewer choices. And doing it alone can sometimes seem impossible.
Avoid the stress of late filing by working with a tax professional you trust, as soon as you can. The team at Tax Defense Network can file even the most complicated of returns, getting you the help you need in a timely manner.
You probably take for granted just how much time you spend in your car every week. What you do notice is the cost you incur for fuel, general maintenance and ill-timed auto repairs. If you’re looking for a way to save when you hit the road this summer, you can’t afford to overlook some vehicle-related tax deductions.
There are plenty of driving activities which will actually net you some helpful tax savings when it comes time to file next year. Starting as early as the summer months can ensure you have something to show for your various auto excursions. Consider what deductions you can take on your car, and how to simultaneously avoid having a collision with the IRS over some basic filing mistakes.
First, the good stuff: Philanthropy can benefit your community as well as your taxes. Your expenses for driving to volunteer activities are tax-deductible. This includes money you spend on fuel and tolls; even parking at your charity gig is able to be written off.
In the event that you pull up stakes to take a new job, you can deduct some of the moving costs – including the actual distance that you have to travel to make the transition. You have to be sure that you’re at least 50 miles away from your previous workplace in order to take this deduction. The really good news? You can take a tax deduction even if you’re using your car on your quest for a new position.
If you find yourself in a fender-bender or worse, there may be a silver lining in your tax return. When your car loses value as a result of the damage, this may be deductible. Also, should you have a crash where the other liable motorist’s insurance doesn’t completely cover your damages, you can deduct the cost difference.
You might have a little extra income from property you rent, which you no doubt understand is taxable. But did you know that you can actually write off expenses when you’re going back and forth to this location? As long as you’re using your car to visit the rental for landlord duties like maintenance, you’re able to take the deduction.
While you should definitely take advantage of every vehicle tax break you can get, proceed with caution. First, any expense you want to write off should be accompanied by a receipt. A good rule of thumb: if you don’t have valid documentation, don’t take the deduction. Any random audit on your return will result in trouble if you don’t have the proper receipts in hand.
It’s easy to make filing mistakes in your tax break endeavors. If you have any question about whether or not you’re on the right track, consult with a tax professional first. And if you’re face with an IRS issue over tax breaks you’ve taken in error, don’t hesitate to contact a licensed tax professional. The last thing you want is the IRS in your blind spot.
Taxpayers have until April 18, 2016 to file their tax return, but delaying the process can create problems. Even when complying with tax laws, having less time to prepare and file the return can create issues with the IRS. Here are five reasons why you should not procrastinate in filing your return:
1. Tax Identity Theft
According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the IRS estimated that it prevented $24.2 billion in fraudulent identity theft refunds in 2013. However, the tax agency paid out $5.8 billion in what was later determined to be fraudulent refunds.
Identity theft is real and the IRS cannot shield every taxpayer from falling prey. Once a fraudulent tax return reaches the IRS, there is a chance that it will be accepted. Therefore, to minimize the risk, taxpayers should file their returns as early in the season as possible. After your return has reached the IRS, they will not accept any other return filed in your name by scammers.
2. Early Tax Refund
Almost 75% of Americans receive a tax refund each year. By filing your return early, you can receive your refund sooner. The sooner you receive it, the earlier you can invest or spend your money.
3. Owing More Than You Paid
If you file your tax return a few days before April 18, you may believe that your yearly tax duty is over. There is always a chance, though, that you will receive an IRS notice informing you that you owe more than you paid.
Filing in haste can cause mistakes that can only be corrected by filing an amended return. If you miss the filing deadline, the IRS begins to charge penalties and interest on the taxes due.
4. Sufficient Time, Less Mistakes
With adequate time to prepare and review your tax return, you minimize the chance for errors. If you’re filing in a rush, you could miss a credit or deduction that could save you hundreds in taxes. Simple errors can also lead to an audit.
5. Availability of Return Preparers
The longer you wait, the narrower your filing options become. Many of the CPAs in your area may be already booked, leaving you with fewer choices. There may be long lines forming the closer the filing deadline gets.
To help avoid refund fraud, mistakes on your return, and unnecessary stress, it is preferable to file weeks before the filing deadline. Procrastination where taxes are concerned can cause both stress and loss of money.