Last-Minute Tax Tips

As tax day (April 18) rapidly approaches, here’s what you need to do now:

Think: bite-sized chunks

To alleviate the anxiety and stress of filing your taxes, get started TODAY! Start by organizing your paperwork, establishing a filing system, reviewing all your documents, and then e-file! It’s really as simple as that.

Skip the tax store

Let’s face it – it’s getting a little late in the season to hire a pro or make an appointment at a tax store.  And the thing is, especially if your taxes are simple (ie: you claim the standard deduction, as 60% of filers do), you don’t need to pay someone to file your taxes! Last year, taxpayers with a 1040 A/EZ spent some $2.5 billion in preparer fees—a total waste of money! Save yourself several hundred dollars, and file on time with the help of a software program – likeTurboTax. After all, it’s what many pros use behind closed doors—at your expense.

Take advantage of all the breaks you’re entitled to

One of the more valuable tax credits just so happens to be one of the many credits that Americans forget to claim: the Earned Income Credit.  For tax year 2010, the maximum credit for a household with three or more children is a whopping $5,666.  Claim it if you’re eligible; after all, a credit reduces your taxes dollar for dollar.

Make contributions to your IRA

One of the best ways to save for retirement and reduce your tax liability is with an IRA.  The maximum contribution limits for 2010 is $5000 for those under the age 50; $6000 for those age 50 and over.  In most cases, you have until April 18th to make these contributions (even if you’re planning on filing for an extension).

Comments (12) Leave your comment

  1. I was being ssarcatic.I wanted to point at that the very people that scream the Democrat talking points about businesses not paying their fair share and support the Democrats to raise taxes on businesses are the ones that are hurt the most by those taxes. And Granholm's greatest wish to raise the sales tax would further hurt the poor and middle class, which would be poor people and union members. Which makes any interesting question, how long can the Democrats feast on themselves before they die? IE Democrats raises sales tax which hurts Union members who give money to Democrats.

  2. Thanks for the last minute tips. Making contributions to an IRA seems like a great way to save money while reducing your tax liability.

  3. My tears are flowing as I finish my taxes on-line. We have to pay $ thousands extra due to the double tax on 85% of social security “benefits”. Many retirees do not have to pay the Double-Tax on their social security “benefits”. We already paid IRS taxes on the income – social security is not like IRA’s – where you subtract wages. It should only be on 50% for ALL (as 50% of the original donations to the Ponzi scheme was by the employer).

    Ref.

    Taxes are imposed on up to 50 percent of benefits for single retirees with modified adjusted gross incomes over $25,000 and for couples with incomes over $32,000.

    Single retirees with incomes above $34,000 and couples with incomes over $44,000 must pay taxes on up to 85 percent of their incomes above this threshold.

  4. LILA EVERYONE KNOWS YOUR TAX MONEY IS DUE THIS YEAR ON APRIL 18TH AT MIDNIGHT. AFTER THAT THEY CHARGE INTEREST… HOW BOUT THAT……

  5. I love TurboTax. Super easy, saves you tons of money. Big deal if it costs $40. It will save you 10 – 20 hours of paper work. Unless your time is only worth $1/hour it’s well well worth it. BTW – Check out the cost of using an accountant, typically $400 for an easy return.

  6. Everyone has till August 19,2011 to pay any taxes owed for 2010, by paying as much as you can now monthly. Then on or before August 19,2011 if you still owe taxes, call or go to the IRS office to set up a monthly payment plan. If you do it now, for small amounts owed for 2010, the IRS will charge of fee(about 105.00 or more) which you could save buy paying as much as you can now to lower your balance owed ,then in August contact the IRS to set up a payment plan with there fee charge then. So pay your 2010 owed taxes in full before August 19,2011 and save yourself money.

  7. You don’t have to pay anyone There are lots of free ways to file or efile your fed and state taxes………..wake up people!!! Go to the IRS and your state site and you have the info for free filing.

  8. Should I open an IRA or have more witholding taken out of my paycheck so I don’t have to pay so much income tax each year? I am a retired senior and work part time to supplement my income.

  9. I AM A75 YR OLD WIDOW ALSO BILATERAL AMPUTEE–I LIVE IN HUSBANDS MILITARY ANNUITY AND SOCIAL SECURITY.WHAT TAX CREDITS SHOULD BE USED SO I DON’T HAVE TO PAY EVERY YEAR AND WHERE DO I FIND THATR INFO.

    THANK YOU

  10. So I pay Intuit EVERY YEAR for QuickBooks and TurboTax software, and they back a blog that says “you don’t need to pay someone to file your taxes!” I may have to find another software provider…

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