We’ve officially made it to the last full month of Summer. Some of you are still trying to use your vacation time, while others are already shopping for back to school gear. And then there are those who can let the last days of Summer tick away leisurely by the pool – that’s awesome!
But however you choose to spend the end of Summer, one thing we can all benefit from is taking a look at our tax position or situation. Remember, tax preparation is a year-long thing, and the sooner you start, the easier time you’ll have during tax season. Here a few tax prep moves you can make before Summer’s end.
Were you surprised with a huge tax refund this year? In reality, that means the IRS took a bit too much from your paychecks and held that money interest free – money that you could’ve used at the time.
The goal is to have just enough withheld from your pay to cover your yearly tax bill – too less and you’ll have to send the IRS a check, but too much, and you’re sitting around waiting for money that was already yours. Changing your withholdings is as simple as filing a new W-4 with your employer.
Review Estimated Taxes
For any income you receive that isn’t subject to withholdings, you’re required to pay tax liabilities, which ensures you’re accountable for all your earned income. You don’t want to pay under or overpay your estimated taxes. Take a look at how much you’ve submitted with your IRS Form 1040-ES back in April and June – then conclude what you have left to pay in September and January.
Check our information blog about the various ways you can pay off your tax bill: Have Tax Liabilities? Pay Your Tax Bill Instantly!
Keep Those Child Care Receipts
If you used any short-term child care services this Summer while working, those receipts could help cut your tax bill as deductions. Of course, parents can claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit for expenses; however, the IRS will allow totals spent from hiring a sitter or day care towards your credit.
Head on over to our easy read blog for more details: Summer Tax Tips for Child Care
Store Medical Receipts
No kids? No problem! For taxpayers 65 years or older, you can claim credits on medical and dental expenses that are greater than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income – this can also include traveling to get prescriptions and treatments. Joint filers can take advantage as long as at least one of you are 65.
Make a Charitable Contribution
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, nonprofits and charities will gladly accept donations. If you have any old summer clothing, unwanted household items, or just want to give a monetary gift, you can claim those amounts as deductions from your tax bill. Be sure to itemize and get some form of documentation from the exempt organization. Without it, the IRS can disallow your deduction claim.
Complete Your 2015 Tax Return
The most important and obvious task to complete before Summer ends – your personal tax return for the current filing year. If you filed IRS Form 4868 back in April, you still have until October 17 to file on time, but don’t breathe too easy – waiting to the last minute leads to filing errors which can cause IRS penalties. Start now and do a little at a time to keep things accurate.
If you didn’t file for an extension or it got rejected, why are you wasting valuable time?! You can even file with the IRS Free File program, which allows you to submit online, and for free, if your adjusted gross income is $62,000 or lower. There are plenty of other things you can do to keep your taxes in perspective, but that list can go on and on. Meet with your local tax professional or CPA for more ways to have your taxes in check before the new filing season.
If you do plan on waiting until after the end of the year, as most taxpayers do for a multitude of reasons, give yourself more filing time to submit a correct form. With ExpressExtension.com, you can e-file a personal tax extension and get automatically approved for six extra months after the deadline. We also offer our FREE Express4868 app for iOS and Android devices for convenient on-the-go e-filing.
For any questions or assistance with your e-filing experience, contact our U.S. – based, e-filing professionals at 803.514.5155. We’re available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, and you can reach us 27/4 with support@ExpressExtension.com.