The time for filing our taxes is right around the corner, and it’s important to start preparing your finances now. Start digging out those old receipts, research where and when you made donations, and of course, check what changes are being made this tax season (and whether or not they may affect you). Be proactive and learn what you need to be aware of this year when you’re filing your tax return!
Be Aware of These Changes
- If you’re planning on filing early, keep in mind that the IRS will be holding refunds on Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)-related returns until February 15. You can still file early, but don’t expect to see your refund until after that time.
- The lines between tax brackets tend to fluctuate each year, so make sure you know what tax bracket you’re in so you can file your taxes as efficiently as possible. You can research this information on your own online at the Tax Foundation, or to get the best and most professional help, you might want to schedule a meeting with the financial professionals at H&R Block to make sure you’re getting the most out of your tax return.
- If you are married, itemized deductions for married couples have new limitations, so make sure you’re aware of what those are and how they could possibly affect you. Online tax tools like TurboTax can walk you through these itemized deductions.
As we get closer to that time of the year, more changes may surface. The best thing to do now is to start tracking any sort of tax-specific information you need ahead of time, such as loan documentation and receipts. Sometimes you can even reach out to past employers to get your tax information early, if need be.
How You Can Plan Ahead
- Did you donate to charity or pay extra on your student loans? If you did, then you’re already one step closer to maximizing your tax refunds in 2017. Keep track of how much you donated as well as how much you paid on your student loans. You can deduct up to $2,500 in interest paid on your student loans.
- Do you have health insurance? If you never signed up for health insurance this year, note that the fee for that has also increased. The most important thing to do now is to determine why you didn’t sign up for health insurance or when you lost your health insurance. The fee may be waived depending on how long you’ve gone without health insurance or your reason for not having insurance.
- Do you claim the EITC or ACTC? If you do, keep in mind that you will not be receiving your refund until February 15 or later. This can play in your favor, as you don’t need to worry about filing as early as possible, but there are still steps that you can take to make sure you are as prepared as you can be for your tax return. The IRS will begin releasing returns on that date, so keep in mind that you still may not receive your return until sometime after that.
If you aren’t sure what you need to file for your 2017 taxes, make sure you reach out to your personal financial planner. If you’re new to managing your taxes on your own, schedule a consultation at your local tax preparer. You can even visit your local government website to do some extra research before you file.
What are you doing to prepare for tax season? Share in the comments below!
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