During my time as a tax professional, I have devised a quick checklist of items to have on hand before preparing your taxes. It never fails that, when I mention the items needed, at least one item is missing every time. Save yourself some time and aggravation by having these items ready when you go to file your taxes:
- Social Security Numbers for everyone to be listed on the tax return
- Copies of all W-2s, 1099s, and 1098s received during the year (yes, that job you worked for less than a month should be included!)
- Bank and credit card statements showing business expenses paid
- Any receipts for items purchased for your job, if you are an employee
- Copies of local taxes paid, sales taxes paid, property taxes paid, and real estate taxes paid
- Copies of any expenses that you’ve paid, that you are unsure if you can claim on your return (a skilled preparer can tell you if those “mystery” expenses can be deducted)
- Copies of charitable donation receipts
- Brokerage statements
- Receipts for any energy efficient upgrades that you’ve completed during the year
This is not an all-inclusive list, but having these items nearby will making it much easier to prepare your taxes quickly and efficiently.
April 15th is right around the corner. Are your taxes already done, or will you be sending in your taxes right before the deadline?
For many people, there is some anxiety surrounding tax day, either because they cannot submit their tax return on time, or they cannot pay the tax due by April 15th. If you fall into either category, relax! There are things you can do to give you more time to file and pay your taxes.
If you need a little more time to do your taxes, have no fear. You can request an extension of time to file electronically or using a paper form. To submit it electronically, just go to any one of IRS’s FREE FILE providers to request for an automatic SIX MONTH extension. You can submit this extension request regardless of your income. If you prefer to mail in the extension request, use Form 4868 and mail it to the appropriate address as indicated in the form.
If you have your return ready but you can’t pay your taxes, you can request an extension of time to pay. The extension of time to file IS NOT the same as an extension of time to pay. If you need more time to pay your tax, you have to complete a different form. You will need to complete Form 1127 in order to get more time to pay your taxes. Granting a payment extension is at IRS’s discretion, and they do not promise that everyone will be allowed more time to pay. They generally only allow it under hardship circumstances. But it never hurts to try, especially if you cannot afford to pay by April 15th.
If you have other IRS questions, feel free to contact me for a FREE consultation. I’d love to help you!
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