Filing Season is Coming!
Filing season is coming!
Even though your taxes aren’t due until April 17, now is a good time to start thinking about them to ensure they are filed and processed smoothly. Here are a few tips.
1—One reason return processing is delayed is because of missing or incorrect information. Its important to make sure that you are preparing your returns based on the actual documents received by your employer or payer. These documents include your W-2, 1099, and 1095-A. These forms will start arriving in your mailbox in January. Now is a great time to make sure that these entities have your correct mailing address on file so that there is no delay in delivery. Once you receive the documents, you should check them over thoroughly to ensure there are no errors and have them corrected as soon as possible if there are. Never estimate numbers from these sources in preparing your return.
2—If you or a spouse or dependent file returns using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, you may need to renew it by December 31, 2017 in order to avoid a refund delay and loss of certain tax benefits. If your ITIN hasn’t been used on a return in the last three years or the middle digits are 70, 71, 72, or 80, they expire this year and cannot be used on your 2017 return unless renewed. If you need to renew, be sure to fill out and submit a Form W-7. The form should be mailed, along with original or certified identification documents. It usually takes about seven weeks for the IRS to assign an ITIN so don’t wait!
3—Once you have all of your documents and your return is prepared and ready to file, be sure to e-file and choose direct deposit for a faster refund. There are several ways to electronically file a return. Here are some options:
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs
Commercial tax preparation software
Certified or licensed tax professional
If you are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit, the IRS cannot by law send you refund before the middle of February. This is to make sure that the IRS has ample time to review information to ensure that the refund is valid before it is issued. This helps to prevent fraud. The IRS expects to begin issuing these refunds starting February 27, 2018 if you e-file and use direct deposit, and if your return is accurate.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me on my Facebook page or website if you have questions or need more help. Hopefully, these tips help your tax season to be as painless as possible.