Many individuals will be working to gather their tax documents to complete their 2019 taxes. Although the tax deadline was extended until July 15th, the deadline always seems to sneak up quickly. I know you may have a lot on your plate lately so as we near the finish line of tax season, here are a few helpful reminders from the TurboTax team to help you save on your taxes and to help you file on time.
- Don’t worry about taking your taxes somewhere. With everything that is going on, you don’t need to worry about going out and taking your taxes to someone to get them done when you can easily and accurately file from the comfort of your own home. Plus, millions of taxpayers may be eligible for TurboTax Free Edition if they file a simple tax return (Form 1040 with no schedules): that includes W-2 income, limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV, claiming the standard deduction, Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child Tax Credit. With TurboTax Free Edition, new and returning users get free data transfer giving them up to a 50% head start while eliminating data entry, the ability to jump-start your taxes by snapping a photo of your W-2, free driver’s license bar code scan, free step-by-step guidance to help you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, free audit guidance, and tax reform guidance.
- Gather your forms in one place. Nothing is worse than not having a form when you need it. Grab all of those income documents: W-2s, 1099’s and paperwork for tax-deductible expenses. Tax supporting forms that report student loan interest, education expenses for colleges, and mortgage interest will also be necessary if you’ve had any of those expenses. If you are self-employed, make sure you have your 1099-Misc or 1099-K forms. Also, remember if you are self-employed you may not necessarily receive a form 1099-Misc or 1099-K, but you still need to claim all of your income. Don’t forget, you can also claim your business expenses which will lower your taxable income.
- Pick a time and place. Pick a time and space that does not require you to be in a hurry. Rushing while doing your taxes can cause you to leave something out or enter information incorrectly. Make sure to verify dependents’ correct birth-dates and social security numbers. This basic information is required to claim valuable tax deductions and credits such as Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), or the new credit for other dependents.
- E-file with Direct Deposit. Last tax season about 72% of tax filers received a tax refund, and the average direct deposit tax refund was close to $3,000! The IRS states that it will issue nine out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days or less when you e-file with direct deposit.
- Frequently overlooked tax deductions. Several tax deductions are frequently overlooked and can lower your taxable income and you don’t need to itemize your deductions to claim them. Some of the frequently overlooked deductions include: student loan interest deduction, teachers educator deduction for school supplies purchased up to $250, and deductible portion of your IRA contributions.
- Yes, you still may be able to itemize!: Although TurboTax estimated and the IRS data confirmed that about 90% of taxpayers will now take the standard deduction instead of itemizing due to tax reform, gathering a few additional receipts for tax-deductible expenses may push you over the standard deduction and lower your tax liability. Review these items for a potential tax benefit:
- Previous state tax liability paid
- Charitable contributions – pro tip: TurboTax ItsDeductible will help you track and accurately value your donated items.
- Points paid to purchase a new home or refinance an existing home
- Get your tax refund. Even if you are below the IRS filing threshold ($12,200 single and $24,400 married filing jointly), you should still file a tax return especially if federal taxes were withheld and if you are eligible for a refundable tax credit like the Earned Income Tax Credit since you may have a tax refund waiting. The IRS reports about $1 billion in unclaimed refunds every year and more recent data reveals the average unclaimed tax refund is close to $800.
- Tax savings for investors. If you are an investor and sold some losing stocks, don’t forget that capital losses on stock sales can be offset against capital gains, lowering your taxes. TurboTax Premier can help you accurately figure out your gains and losses and is the only major online tax preparer that supports importing over 1500 stock and 2,250 cryptocurrency transactions at once, directly from financial institutions, saving you time and ensuring accuracy. TurboTax Premier has partnered with over 300 financial institutions and investment platforms to allow you to auto-import your investment info seamlessly when doing your taxes.
- You can talk to a CPA or Enrolled Agent from the comfort of home. If you have tax questions you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent with an average 15 years experience and get your tax questions answered from the comfort of home. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available in Spanish and English, year round and can review, sign and file your tax return.
What are you waiting for? Start filing your taxes today, your refund is waiting! By going online to prepare your taxes, you can save time and money and can still talk to a CPA or Enrolled Agent if needed.