The tax deadline is almost here! As you probably know, you must file your 2016 individual federal income tax return by April 18, 2017. If you’ve been procrastinating, it’s time to get started! Here are some things to keep in mind as you race to meet the deadline.
Always Be Prepared
There are many reasons why a lot of people wait, and some are kind of practical (as in waiting to earn maximum interest in savings accounts before tax payments are sent). However, if that is your reason for waiting, always remember that you can prepare and submit your returns at any time prior to the deadline and then wait to send in any money you owe up until the deadline. In the future, this would be a much better plan because then you’ll at least know what you owe and you’ll avoid any last minute surprises, while still getting whatever interest you can.
Organization is also very helpful when preparing for your taxes, whether you want to wait until the last minute or you file earlier. Get all your key documents gathered in one place. Keep a file folder just for tax documents and receipts or track everything in an accounting software program. Even a shoebox will do! Just make sure you have these documents readily available for when you decide to prepare your return:
- Form W-2 – You should receive this by the end of January and it will show all your employment earnings and taxes withheld for the year.
- Form 1099-INT – Showing interest earned in any banking accounts.
- Form 1099-MISC – If you do any freelance or contract work on the side, you should receive 1099 forms from your clients/employers
- Form 1098 (Mortgage Interest Statement) – This tracks any and all mortgage interest paid on a home loan.
- Receipts for Deductible Purchases/Payments – If you do any work at home, keep all your business-related expenses tracked, along with healthcare payments, mileage and education expenses.
It is important you understand what is deductible, so do your research or consult with a tax professional like Ferguson, Timar & Company. Also, make sure you have your social security number and the numbers of your spouse and any dependents that you claim.
Let Us Help
The important thing to know is that time is of the essence when it comes to filing your taxes. If you want to try and file for a tax extension, we can help. Contact Ferguson, Timar & Company today for the best in professional tax preparation. Be sure and request one of our tax preparation checklists!