There’s No Season Like Tax Season

Though it is still a month away, just watch this month creep up before all of our taxes are due. Here are a few things that you should know about this filing tax season.

First off, this year we will have a few extra days to turn in our taxes. While the due date is usually April 15, this year of 2017 the deadline is April 18 since the 15 falls on a Saturday. Then that Monday, the 17 is Emancipation Day, a holiday that is recognized by the District of Columbia, so they pushed it back one more day.

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Second, you need to know that there are options and different ways for you to get assistance. The IRS offers assistance through their Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC). In the previous years, these centers used to be first come, first serve but now they are only taking appointments over the phone. The number to call if you are looking to set up an appointment is (844) 545-5640.

FreeFile is also an option for about 70% of taxpayers. FreeFile is a program from the IRS that allows participants whose incomes are $64,000 or less to, as the name implies, file their taxes for free.

Refunds, might arguably be some people favorite part about doing their taxes. There are a few options in receiving your refunds, but the IRS claims that direct deposit is the quickest way to receive your refund over a check.

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And of course, there is the option of doing your taxes by yourself. Now with various online sites, such as TurboTax.com or CreditKarma.com to name a few, doing your taxes from the comfort of your own home is an option. Note, if you are planning to do your taxes online, you might be required to have your Adjusted Growth Income (AGI) from the previous year. The IRS is doing this as a way to combat identity theft and refund fraud. Basically, having your Adjusted Growth Income from the year before is a way to make doing your taxes online safer. You can find your AGI on line 37 of the Form 1040, line 21 on Form 1040-A, or line 4 on the Form 1040-EZ.x.

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There are also some tax benefits for homeowners. First off, you can deduct many home related expenses and these tax breaks can be made for any type of home you purchase including single-family residence, townhouse or condominium. Unfortunately, in order to take full advantage of your tax breaks, it can get a bit complicated. To deduct expenses of owning a home, you must file Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and itemize your deductions on Form 1040. Again, it gets a bit tricky but trust us, it is worth it. The four main areas one could deduct from are real estate taxes, sale taxes, home mortgage interest, and mortgage insurance premiums. Most commonly, all four of those are included in your house payment. Your biggest tax break is going to be from your monthly mortgage payments. And since a majority of that is going to interest, all that interest is deductible. However, if your loan is more than one million dollars, the IRS will limit your deductible. The other main deduction that comes with owning a home is property taxes. If you are a recent homeowner, I would recommend seeking professional help with your taxes this year if you are planning on itemizing and taking advantage of just one of the perks that comes along with home ownership.

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For those of you who have already filed your taxes, good for you! And for those of you who still haven’t don’t it yet, be warned. You don’t want to be rushing this at the end to make sure that you file correctly and so that you can get back a refund if it applies. Good luck to all and happy tax season!

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