Last Minute Tax Tips
GAINESVILLE -Last-minute tax tips
Audits, extensions, overlooked tax breaks. Those three things are on the minds of taxpayers as we head closer to the tax filing deadline.
Every year, taxpayers are leaving approximately $1 billion on the table by not claiming all of the tax credits and deductions they are due.
Don’t let indecision on the way to file keep you from claiming all the credits and deductions you are due. Here are some options any way, anywhere, anytime a taxpayer chooses to file – and all come with a maximum refund guarantee.
Seven last-minute tips
These are seven last-minute tips from H&R Block:
- Take into account life changes – When thinking taxes, also think “life changes.” That’s because life changes – getting married, having a baby, buying or selling a home, sending a child off to college or retiring – have a large impact on your tax return and bring about tax savings.
- Be aware of commonly overlooked credits and deductions – There have been close to 4,500 changes to the tax code in the past decade. Given the constant changes, it’s no surprise some taxpayers miss out on available tax benefits. Tax credits and deductions most commonly overlooked include Earned Income Tax Credit and energy efficiency credits.
- Millions may be eligible to claim casualty losses – There were several federally declared disasters in 2012, including Hurricane Sandy. Claiming a casualty loss as an itemized deduction could mean significant tax savings for millions of taxpayers.
Losses in a federally declared disaster area in 2012 can be claimed on either an amended 2011 return or a 2012 return
- Avoid silly mistakes – Don’t make errors in the race to April 15 that result in overpaying or underpaying taxes, or delaying refunds. Save time and money by avoiding these common mistakes:
Selecting the wrong filing status (single, married, head of household, etc.) as of marital status Dec. 31
A recent example of this resulted in a tax savings of almost $5,500 for one family in Detroit
Claiming ineligible dependents
Mixing up names and Social Security Numbers
The National Taxpayer Advocate said that in 2009, nearly 300,000 tax returns contained incorrect identification numbers for dependent
Failing to claim or miscalculating important tax breaks, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit
- Seek help from qualified professionals – Whether you visit a tax preparer in-person or use a digital tax preparation product, make sure the service you choose is backed by tax professionals and tax experts. H&R Block offers taxpayers multiple options for preparing their taxes – whether it’s online, in-person, via a smartphone app or even through the one-of-a-kind assisted option Block Live.
- Select direct deposit – Elect to have your tax refund deposited directly into a bank account.
- An extension to file is NOT an extension of time to pay – Between April 1 and April 15, H&R Block is filing extensions free for taxpayers (online and at participating offices). An extension gives taxpayers an extra six months to file a tax return, making the new filing deadline Oct. 15. Filing for an extension does not extend the time to pay a tax liability. To avoid penalties and interest, taxpayers must pay any balance due by April 15
Even if you can’t pay – you should still file an extension to avoid the 5-percent, monthly penalty for failing to file your return
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