Are you ready to join the mad rush to the tax deadline or did you finish your return early? There’s about two weeks left to get your return finalized, signed, and sent to the IRS. With that in mind, I’ve put this reminder together with info to help you make the most of your refund and get that tax return in on time.
The Deadline Is Here
Once again, April 15th is the deadline fast approaches. That’s the day your tax return and any taxes owed are due. Or, you can file a tax extension, to get an extra six months. Even with an extension, the IRS still wants that money paid by the deadline.
Don’t forget the IRA deadline is the same day. The IRS lets you back date contributions for last year. It’s a great way to max out last year’s IRA and stash a little more money away for your retirement. I wouldn’t wait till the last minute. Give yourself a few extra days to allow any deposits to go through in time.
You don’t need a new IRA, if you already have an account. But if you do, here’s our list of recommend brokers for IRAs. Just remember to check the right tax year. When making the deposit, you’ll be given a choice between last tax year and this tax year. As long as you haven’t hit the contribution limit for last year, go ahead and mark it.
Last Minute Tips
I covered several tax tips since the beginning of the year. The updated tax prep checklist is a great starting point. It lists all the paperwork you need for different tax credits, deductions, and to file taxes each year.
I broke down the different 1099 forms investors get each year. It covers what each form does, the type of income that’s reported, and which investments are tied to each form.
Maybe you qualify for the Saver’s Tax Credit? On top of the tax deduction you get from a 401k or IRA, the government offers a tax credit, to those who qualify, when you save for retirement.
Lastly, here are some tips on avoiding common mistakes like double checking your information. The biggest delays every year are caused by the smallest mistakes. Triple check everything, if you have too, to avoid that hassle.
eFile And Track Your Refund
The IRS has pushed online filing or eFile, as the best way to file your tax return. It makes sense too. You can eFile with online tax software. I use TurboTax every year to help finish my return.
Do you have a more complex return? Find a tax professional in your area that you trust. It may cost more, but it’s about piece of mind.
Once you’ve filed online, you can track your refund through the IRS’ Where’s My Refund? service or grab the IRS2Go app. You can get access to your refund status within 72 hours of filing.
Get Ready For Next Year
Next year already? It’s never too soon to think ahead. You can start planning with this year’s tax brackets. When you know which income bracket you fall into, it’s easier to plan ways to lower your taxes for the year.
Extra savings toward retirement is the first place to look. It’s great for the savers out there, but it might help you drop into a lower tax bracket too.
The 401k contribution limits allow you to deduct a big a chunk of your taxable income. The same goes for the IRA limits. Depending on which type of IRA you choose, you may be able to deduct those deposits too.
The IRS has changed the rules on capital gains and how cost basis is reported for investments. Make sure you’re up to date on the rules before buying and selling anything in your taxable accounts.
It’s never too early to think ahead, just get this year’s return filed first.