With tax season fully underway it's not uncommon that many of us have still not yet filed annual taxes. If you've wait til the last minute don't worry! We asked Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA and TurboTax expert, to share her top tips for last-minute filing. We also have partnered up with TurboTax to give 3 winners a chance to win a TurboTax card (valued at $180)! Keep on reading for the tips and scroll to the end to enter below!
- Gather 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.
- Go online and e-file: You can easily and accurately jump-start your taxes with the snap of a photo and watch the information automatically import to the correct tax forms. Whether filing from a smart phone, tablet or computer, you benefit from the convenience of anytime, anywhere access with the ability to seamlessly start, stop and continue your taxes across devices.
- E-file with direct deposit: If you are expecting a tax refund, e-file with direct deposit is easy, secure and the fastest way to get your federal tax refund. Nine out of 10 tax refunds are issued within 21 days or less of acceptance if you e-file with direct deposit, compared to six to eight weeks for paper-filed tax returns.
- Double-check important information: According to the IRS, one of the top mistakes taxpayers make when rushing to meet the tax deadline is gathering incorrect Social Security numbers for their children and spouses. Make sure you have the correct Social Security numbers when you prepare your taxes. Correct Social Security numbers are required to get valuable tax deductions, credits and exemptions.
- Don’t forget what you did last year: The IRS reports that about 75 percent of taxpayers take the easy way out and take the standard deduction, but including a few additional receipts may push you over the standard deduction, further lowering your tax liability.
- Don’t forget about the money you shelled out for expenses like previous state tax liability paid, job search expenses, summer day camp—even the cost of moving a pet may save you money on taxes.
- Remember to include charitable contributions made throughout the year (i.e. donated clothing, household goods and even mileage to and from charitable events).
- When you file with TurboTax, you will be asked simple questions about your life and TurboTax will give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your entries.
- Don’t wait for Form 1095-B or 1095-C: If you have employer provided insurance, private insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare you may be waiting for Form 1095-B or C, but there is no need to wait. Per the IRS, you do not need to file these forms with your taxes. They are for information only so go ahead and file!
- File even if you owe: Remember going on extension only extends the time to file your taxes, but if you owe you are still required to pay what you owe. If you owe money, you can also ask the IRS for an installment agreement when you file your taxes. The installment agreement will allow you to pay your tax debt over six years. Plus you may have a tax refund coming once TurboTax searches for over 350 tax deductions and credits you may be eligible for.
- You are not alone: Even though you are doing your own taxes at your convenience, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered from the comfort of your couch. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents can also review, sign, and file your tax return.
Want to know how simple is TurboTax to use from 1-10, 10 being extremely easy and fast. You can do your taxes online and take a snap of your W2 from your phone or tablet and the information will upload automatically. If you feel more comfortable doing it from your own house, you can save the information and continue doing your taxes when you get home. Another example is that the software makes very easy questions, such as “do you have children?” , “Are you married?” and it takes you step by step asking questions about your credits and deductions you might quality for, including charity donations credit, child care credit or moving expenses credit.