Taxes: IRS Tax Tips: 2012 Taxes
Christmas is over, credit card bills are coming in, and the realization that your 2012 taxes are due soon is just starting to sink in. Now is the perfect time to collect all your needed documents and beat the rush. Most people get into trouble when they procrastinate to the last minute. Those IRS forms are confusing enough – don’t make things harder on yourself by adding a sense of urgency to the matter. To help you stay ahead, and plan early we have listed below this years IRS Tax Tips from the IRS for 2012.
1. Collect all your important records that will or could impact your tax return. This means gathering all your W-2s, 1099s, canceled checks, important receipts, records of contribution, etc. These documents are extremely important in calculating an accurate figure for your tax return, and will be required if the need arises for you to substantiate your deductions.
2. Bottom line – it’s your responsibility. Now is the time when W-2’s and 1099s are mailed out, so be looking for them in the mail. However, please remember that it is your responsibility to keep track of the income you earn throughout the year. All too often we talk with people that didn’t report income to the IRS because they didn’t receive a 1099. By law you are required to report all income to the IRS.
3. Take advantage of the free resources and IRS tax tips that are out there. The IRS has set up a very good Interactive Tax Assistant on the IRS website to help you answer common tax questions about credits, deductions, and more. In addition, several reputable tax firms like ours offer free consultations over the phone for general questions.
4. File for free with the IRS. If you feel comfortable filing your own taxes, the IRS has a utility online called Free File. It’s available exclusively at www.irs.gov. Everyone can find an option to prepare their tax return and e-file it for free. If you made $57,000 or less, you qualify to use free tax software offered through a private-public partnership with manufacturers. If you made more or are comfortable preparing your own tax return, there’s Free File fillable forms, the electronic versions of IRS paper forms. Visitwww.irs.gov/freefile to review your options. While you are there check out the extensive section of IRS tax tips for both individuals and businesses.
5. Save a tree, save a stamp. The IRS e-file option is safe, easy to use, and a great way to file your tax return. The IRS reported that nearly 80% of taxpayers – 106 million people – used IRS e-file to file their 2011 tax return. Many tax preparers are now required to use e-file. If you owe taxes, you have payment options to file immediately and pay by the tax deadline. Best of all, the IRS issues refunds to 98 percent of electronic filers by direct deposit within 14 days, if there are no problems, and some may be issued in as few as 10 days.
Other IRS Tax Tips to consider
• Plan ahead and give yourself time to explore all of your available options
• Consider direct deposit – it’s fast, safe, and good for the environment
• The IRS has a great website filled with lots of information. Consider it a resource and use it.
• Check out IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, on the IRS website. It’s a comprehensive resource for taxpayers, highlighting everything you’ll need to know when filing your return.
For more IRS tax tips and expert advice on help with IRS tax problems check out our tax help section of the website at www.assurancetaxadvisors.com, or visit our tax blog.