Every year tax season creeps up on us and before we know it, many of us are rushing around trying to get our taxes filed. Stay ahead of the game this year with these tips to help tackle the tax season!
Know the new laws – Whenever there are changes to the tax laws, it’s a good idea to become familiar and educated on them so we suggest doing some research to freshen up, especially if you’re filing them yourself.
Figure out your filing status – If you are filing single, it’s pretty straightforward. However, if you’re married, don’t jump straight to filing a joint return. It all depends on the difference between your and your partner’s earnings, and how many itemized deductions you each have (like big medical or business expenses). You may want to run the numbers to see which filing status makes the most sense for you.
Remember credits or exemptions – Credits and exemptions reduce the amount you owe on your tax bill. As long as no one claims you as a dependent, you qualify for the personal exemption. Do some research on the credits you qualify for and reduce what you owe on your tax bill.
Decide who will prepare and file your taxes – If you had major changes in your life in 2019, like a marriage, divorce or started your own business, your taxes will be more complex and you may need to hire a CPA or other tax professional.
Protect yourself from scams – Around tax season, a lot of people will get calls from individuals who pretend to be the IRS. Do not give out any personal information like your social security number or bank account numbers. Instead, the IRS has a list of registered tax preparers to help you avoid these scammers
Another way to protect yourself is to set up direct deposit if you expect a refund.
Don’t disregard the IRS – Taxpayers who don’t file returns and owe taxes, or file but don’t pay taxes on time, are risking serious penalties. If the IRS has been sending you letters regarding your return or claims, respond right away to avoid further penalties. Many times, a payment plan can be set up.
At Westport Federal Credit Union, we know life is complicated enough. If you need a loan to pay off your taxes, visit us or apply online 24/7. Secure your financial future with us.