25 Tax Tips

Submitted by cheapSKate on Mon, 04/08/2013 – 10:54

The follow are 25 tips to make tax filing a little easier.

  1. Use Shoeboxed.com to keep track of bank statements, cancelled checks etc, so at tax time you’ll be able to find all your information easily.
  2. If your adjusted gross income is less than $57,000 you can use the free file tax software from these companies approved by the IRS.
  3. Regardless of income, anyone can fill out free file fillable forms from the IRS, however the instructions that come with these forms are minimal.
  4. Transmit your return electronically for free by using secure IRS e-file.
  5. You can check your IRS refund status for free online.
  6. If you are eligible you can still contribute to a Traditional and/or Roth IRA until April 15th.
  7. Self employed? Deduct legitimate business expenses. Here is a list of approved expenses.
  8. Self-employed individuals must file a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with their Form 1040. For more information click here.
  9. Medical expenses must reach 10% of your income to qualify for a deduction.
  10. Choose the right form. The 1040EZ offers only the Earned Income Tax Credit while the longer 1040 offers education and other credits.
  11. If you itemize deductions, you must file the long Form 1040 and Schedule A, but the extra hassle is worth it if it reduces your tax bill.
  12. Here’s how to deduct your charitable cash contributions.
  13. If your deduction for a noncash contribution is more than $500 You must fill out Form 8283 and attach it to your return.
  14. Taxpayers repaying a student loan can deduct up to $2,500 of their student loan interest.
  15. The Lifetime Learning Credit (for graduate students and those returning to school) covers up to 20 percent of out-of-pocket expenses up to $10,000, for a maximum amount of $2,000 deduction.
  16. Day care expenses for children and dependant adults are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to 35% percent. Fill out Form 2441.
  17. The Child Tax Credit is refundable to the extent of 15% of the taxpayer’s earned income in excess of $3,000 file it on Schedule 8812.
  18. Home mortgage interest on a first or second home also includes a line of credit, or a home equity loan and is a deductible expense.
  19. Closing costs on a rental property are deductible.
  20. Points paid to refinance or secure a new mortgage are deductible, but must be deducted over time.
  21. If you replaced windows, doors or your roof during 2012, you can claim a credit of up to $500 of the cost for making your home energy efficient.
  22. Homeowners who are experiencing “short sales” and foreclosures should check out the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act.
  23. If you can’t pay the IRS the total amount you owe, you can pay in installments by completing Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, and attach it to the front of the return.
  24. You can file form 4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time for file a US Individual tax return.
  25. When in doubt call your local IRS office. They’re here to help you.

Disclaimer- Consumerfu is not a licensed tax preparation service. This information is intended for educational purposes only. Please contact a tax preparer or the IRS for professional assistance.