It’s U.S. tax return season right now, and to be sure that you get your contributions to Uncle Sam done correctly and on time, read your 5 top tips for doing your tax return in 2017 right here.
1. Don’t ignore or delay your 2017 tax return
The worst thing that you can do – and unfortunately too many of us do – is to ignore debt that must be paid or to delay facing your tax return. It will weigh on your mind and cause stress. Delaying or ignoring only serves to make the situation worse.
Instead get your tax house in order by fronting up and getting your tax return organized to deliver in a timely fashion. If you aren’t sure how you can pay, you can look into the IRS instalment plan.
2. Make sure you get your earned income tax credit
If you made less than $53,930 in the last year, use the EITC tool to see if you qualify for this credit. According to the IRC, one out of every five people doesn’t apply for this credit. If you qualify, this credit is rightfully yours. Don’t miss out by failing to apply.
3. Protect yourself from fraud with the right PIN
Your IP PIN is updated every year and you need to provide the updated version for your tax return to be accepted by the IRS. Moreover, it protects you from fraud. If you haven’t received it, get your new IP PIN.
The IRS are very specific regarding this PIN: You absolutely need to have the new number on your e-return or it will not be accepted. If you file a paper return, failure to provide this PIN will delay the processing of your return while the IRS confirm that it is authentic, for fraud prevention purposes.
4. Know your health coverage
Ensure that you know exactly what to include for the IRS regarding your health insurance coverage. The Affordable Care Act includes tax provisions and health insurance reforms that affect individuals, families and businesses.
For more information, visit the IRS page on ACA tax provisions.
5. Choose the most efficient methods for speeding up the process
Filing your return electronically is much quicker than the paper method. Doing so with your return in order will ensure that you receive any refund as soon as possible or if you have to make a payment, you will get it out of the way quicker – we recommend you use the IRS Direct Pay option to expedite the process from your checking or savings accounts.
The final word
Filing your return in 2017 is not so complicated so don’t worry. Often it is this common fear of filing tax returns that creates such stress and anxiety. Much of it is really unnecessary.
Once you approach your tax return with this in mind, the process tends to be much easier. Yes, it’s red tape and it can be a little time-consuming, but once you get it completed, you’ll feel much better and you can focus fully on what is really important to you.
If you think you can be better organized for next time in 2018, use this return to see where you can improve, such as making automated payments from your business or checking account to a savings account every month specifically for your next tax return. This way, you don’t spend money that has to go to the IRS, and you won’t have to worry about finding the money later down the line.
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