Monday, January 4, 2016

Expert Tax Tips For 2015 Filing Season

As you start working on your New Year's resolutions, make sure filing your taxes early is one of them.
Filing early for taxpayers who have all their tax documents has its benefits.
Filing early will help you get your refund quicker, but it also helps to prevent taxpayers from becoming victims of identity theft during the e-filing season.
Each year, many taxpayers unfortunately find out their tax return will not be accepted for e-filing purposes because someone else has used their social security number. When this happens, the individual will need to file their tax return manually with an explanation and documentation as to why their return would not be accepted for e-filing. Also, you may need to get your accountant to file Form 14039 Identity Theft Affidavit in order to report your ID Theft and get a PIN to file future returns.
So here are the dates you need to know this year: The IRS announced the start of the 2015 tax filing season is January 19, 2016. This year, the tax filing season will continue until April 18 for non-extended returns. The normal filing date of April 15th is extended to Monday, April 18th because the 15th is the celebration of Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C.  But you need to keep in mind the Wisconsin state return may or may not have all its tax forms finalized by the January 19th date.
Another reminder: Your personal life could affect your taxes this year. A major life change such as getting married, having children and buying a new home or starting a new business can have an impact on an individual’s or married couple’s return. That means you need to keep organized records and stay in touch with your accountant or financial advisor throughout the year and not just during the tax filing season. ​
And that's another big pointer! The key to end-of-year tax planning is to keep organized tax records throughout the year while staying in regular contact with your tax accountant or financial advisor. A good way of keeping the records is to establish a filing system whereby tax documents (ex. Charitable Contribution Statements, W-2’s, 1099’s, 1098 Mortgage Interest and 1098-T Tuition Statement) can be filed as soon as they come in the mail.
A tax organizer/checklist and good working relationship with your accountant goes a long way in getting prepared for tax season.  With the prior tax year’s history entered into the software, the tax organizer/checklist can be an invaluable piece of information in getting everything ready for tax season.