If you haven’t filed your 2017 income tax return yet, the clock is ticking. Chances are you filed for a tax extension on April 18, giving you a 6-month grace period to send your final tax return to the IRS, but now time is running out! You have until 11:59 pm local time today to file your taxes.
If you’ve been procrastinating though, there’s no need to worry. Here are a few last-minute tax tips to help you make the final tax filing deadline today:
Have your documents in one place: When you sit down to file your taxes make sure you have all the necessary documents like W-2s, 1099s, receipts for expenses, mortgage interest, and your kids’ social security numbers in front of you. With TurboTax, you can eliminate data entry by automatically importing your W-2 or by snapping a picture of your W-2.
Remember what you did last year: While you might feel rushed to hurry up and file before the tax deadline, take a moment to remember your receipts for items you donated to charity, your job search expenses, or unreimbursed employee expenses. Especially since the tax year 2017 is the last year you can claim tax deductions like job search and unreimbursed employee expenses.
Go online and file electronically: Forget filling out handwritten forms or waiting in line at a tax store; you can file online from home! Filing electronically online is a quick, easy and accurate way to file your taxes. Your tax return is sent electronically to the IRS and you will receive notification of receipt from the IRS.
Review your information carefully: Before you file, go through your tax return and double check the names, addresses, and social security numbers entered. Since you are not allowed any additional extensions on personal income taxes past the October 15 tax extension deadline, you will want to double check this information.
Save a copy for your records: You should always save a copy of your tax return for your records. You can easily make a PDF copy when you use TurboTax and you can also save your tax return on a flash drive.
Also remember, you need to enter your previous year’s adjusted gross income when you electronically file. On your 2016 tax return, your AGI is on line 37 of the Form 1040; line 21 on the Form 1040-A or line 4 on the Form 1040-EZ. Generally, if you already used TurboTax in 2016 your adjusted gross income will automatically be entered in your tax return.
As you are going back through your records and finding those receipts from 2017, here are some common expenses that are often overlooked and potentially tax-deductible:
Unreimbursed employment expenses: If you paid for something business-related without getting reimbursed by your employer, it might be tax-deductible. For example, if you were required to pay for a cell phone for work, or if you spent some of your own money on a business trip, you might be able to deduct those expenses.
Job hunting expenses: Did you spend money traveling to job interviews or having someone review your resume? You may be able to deduct certain expenses, but only if you are looking for a job in the same field. Unfortunately, if you’d like to change occupations, no deduction is permitted.
Medical expenses: You may receive a tax deduction if your medical expenses that were paid out of pocket are above 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.
Charitable contributions: Don’t forget about those good deeds! Whether it’s a cash contribution or household goods, you may be able to claim your donation as a tax deduction against your income and reduce your tax burden if you donated to a qualified charity or religious organization. TurboTax ItsDeductible will help you easily and accurately value and track your donations.
Hurricane Florence victims in parts of North Carolina and elsewhere have until January 31, 2019 to file their 2017 extended tax returns if they have a valid extension filed by the April 18, 2018 tax deadline.
Hurricane Michael victims will have until February 28, 2019 to file their 2017 extended tax returns if they have a valid extension filed by the April 18, 2018 tax deadline.
The IRS automatically provides filing and penalty relief to any taxpayer with IRS address of record located in the disaster area.
With these tips and the help from TurboTax, you will be able to file before the final tax extension deadline. Remember, TurboTax will ask you simple tax questions and gives you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your answers.
If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered. A TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent can also review, sign, and file your return.
*Note, this is the last call for some of the tax deductions mentioned since they are no longer tax deductible after the tax year 2017 under the new tax reform law.