Tax season is here. That might be enough to send you running for the hills, but there’s no need to fear.
This year you can truly crush it – to learn how to turn bitter lemons into sweet lemonade, read on.
Armed with info: tax changes
To start, let us get you up to speed with tax changes.
The changes to the standard deduction and personal exemption you’ve been hearing about don’t kick in until the 2018 tax year, which you will file in 2019.
You still have to report your health coverage, and there haven’t been any big changes to Schedules C, E, or F in 2017.
However, there are a few changes to tax for the 2017 return – like the Schedule A floor for medical expenses, which was part of the tax reform.
You can find more information on these changes on the IRS website.
Some changes and additions to forms (such as the W-2) are security measures for better identity verification rather than tax reform.
Organization is key
We know those three words fill you with dread… Internal Revenue Service (IRS). But they needn’t. Don’t get anxious, get organized. Get all relevant files in one place to avoid filing frustrations. Go on – do it now!
If you can’t deal with paper files and pages of tables and charts, don’t! You can use tax software to tidy up the whole process and ease the tax season burden.
Did you know that more than four out of every five tax returns in the 2018 tax season will be put together electronically with tax software?
This tax season, shake hands with digital
In this digital world of ours, there is a software solution to nearly everything – from the paystub generator to tax returns.
Electronic tax software needn’t break the budget – many of them are free and include tax professionals to help you through any issues.
You might be lucky enough to fall into the 70% of US taxpayers that qualify for IRS Free File. This program links about 100 million taxpayers earning under $66,000 to free brand-name software provided to the IRS by commercial partners.
Circle the calendar: dates for your diary
Tax season began with the IRS accepting tax returns from Monday, January 29, 2018. The deadline for filing is April 17 – two days later than the regular April 15 date.
The IRS announced they aim to issue over 90% of refunds within 21 days. Those that select e-file and direct deposit will see their refunds first.
Anyone claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) won’t see refunds before mid-February. That’s a legal thing.
File, then future – plan your 2019 finances now!
If you are a business owner (or plan to be), tax season gives you the data you need to launch fool-proof financial goals for next time around.
Once you have filed, have another look at those numbers.
How can you increase your income by 25% by this time next year? Will you finally nail content marketing, use affiliate marketing to monetize your site, or crack into a whole new customer base with a killer social media strategy?