The IRS Offers These Nine Tax Tips
Tax Tips That Help You Avoid the Last-Minute Rush of Doing Your Taxes:
Nine Ways to Avoid Problems at Tax Time gives you tips to help reduce your tax time stress and get you through your tax preparation worry-free! Well, nothing is truly, “worry free” when it comes to taxes, but you’ll get valuable advice from these Nine Ways to Avoid Problems at Tax Time.
Tax Tips 1: Don’t Procrastinate
Resist the temptation to put off your taxes until the last minute-I know, we ALL do this.
Your hurry to meet the filing deadline may cause you to overlook potential sources of tax savings and will likely increase your risk of making a mistake.
Bookkeeping Tax Tips: You also risk a “PIA” fee from your accountant and bookkeeper – They will never tell you this, but it’s on your invoice! That’s because your notes are incomplete, disorganized and you are shortening their preparation time by turning it into them LATE, and it takes them longer to sort out.
Ten to fifteen minutes a day is all it takes you to stay caught up!
Tax Tips 2: Organize Your Tax Records
Tax preparation time can be significantly reduced if you develop a system for organizing your records and receipts.
Start with the income, deduction or tax credit items that were on last year’s return.
Do not expect 24 hour turnaround service on your records, either.
It took you a year to mess things up, it will take some time to input your data correctly.
Bookkeeping Tax Tips: Unfold All Your Receipts (this is my personal peev and I charge $500.00 an hour to unfold them for you – Just ask me).
Tax Tip 3: Visit the IRS Online
Millions of taxpayers visited the IRS Web site last year, downloading nearly 600 million forms, publications and a variety of topic-oriented tax tips and information. Anyone with Internet access can find tax law information and answers to frequently asked tax questions.
Bookkeeping Tax Tips: I have found that the IRS is operating ‘now-a-days’ in ‘User-Friendly’ mode (they are taking more time to explain complicated information to people-Keep in mind they are human, though, and that they will respond to you, “As you respond to them.”). For more tax tips, visit the IRS online here: www.irs.gov
Tax Tips 4: Take Advantage of Free Assistance
The IRS offers recorded messages on about 150 tax topics through its toll-free TeleTax service at 1-800-829-4477.
It also offers federal tax forms and publications at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).
Some libraries, post offices, banks, grocery stores, copy centers and office supply stores carry the most widely requested forms and instructions. Libraries may also have reference sets of IRS tax tips publications.
The IRS also staffs a tax Help Line for Individuals at 1-800-829-1040.
Help for small businesses, corporations, partnerships and trusts which need information or assistance preparing business returns is available at the Business and Specialty Tax Line at 1-800-829-4933.
Both lines are staffed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays.
In addition, the Help Line for Individuals is available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays though April.
All times are local, except in Alaska and Hawaii, which should use Pacific Time.
Hearing-impaired individuals with access to TTY/TDD equipment may call 1-800-829-4059 to ask questions or to order forms and publications.
Bookkeeping Tax Tips: In my travels between Canada and the USA, my experience is that the tax laws and chart of accounts are much the same everywhere, so what works in one place also works in another. You’ll want to verify this, of course, with your Accountant or legal professional, depending on your business setup and/or circumstances.
Tax Tips 5: Use IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers and Vounteer Programs
Free tax tips help is available at IRS offices nationwide.
Also, check your newspaper or local IRS office to find locations for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites.
To get the location, dates, and hours of the VITA or TCE volunteer site closest to you, call the IRS toll-free Tax Help Line for Individuals at 1-800-829-1040. Check the IRS Web site to find the local IRS office nearest you. They really are there to help YOU!
Tax Tips 6: Have your accountant Double-Check Your Math and Data Entries
Review your return for possible math errors and make sure you provided the names and correct (and legibly written) Social Security or other identification numbers for yourself, your spouse and your dependents.
Bookkeeping Tax Tips: Especially important if you need to count every penny. Pplus it could be the saving factor of whether or not you are flagged for an audit – or not.
Tax Tips 7: Have Your Refund Deposited Directly to Your Bank Account
Another way to speed up your refund and reduce the chance of theft is to have your refund amount deposited directly to your bank account.
Check the tax instructions for details on entering the routing and account numbers on your tax return.
Make sure the numbers you enter are correct. Wrong numbers can cause your refund to be misdirected or delayed.
Bookkeping Tax Tips: So, take a second look at everything – one last time – before you sign and send!
Tax Tips 8: Don’t Panic if You Can’t Pay
If you can’t immediately pay the taxes you owe, consider some stress-reducing alternatives.
You can apply for an IRS installment agreement, suggesting your own monthly payment amount and due date, and getting a reduced late payment penalty rate.
You also have various options for charging your balance on a credit card, either as part of an electronic return or directly through a processing agent, either by phone or online.
Bookkeeping Tax Tips: Once again, they want to help YOU, and have a variety of options that won’t have you running to “Guido” for an emergency loan! Do NOT be afraid to talk to an IRS Representative about alternative payment options.
Electronic filers with a balance due can file early and authorize the government’s financial agent to take the money directly from their checking or savings account on the April 15 due date, with no fee.
Tax Tips Note – If you file your tax return or a request for a filing extension on time, even if you can’t pay, you avoid potential late filing penalties.
Tax Tips 9: Have Your Accountant Request an Extension of Time to File — But Pay on Time.
If the clock runs out, you can get an automatic six-month extension of time to file, to October 15.
An extension of time to file does not give you an extension of time to pay, however.
You can call 1-888-796-1074, e-file a Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File, that is included in most tax preparation software, or send a paper Form 4868 to the IRS to request an extension.
Bookkeeping Tax Tips: Make sure you follow these important guidelines when it comes to keeping your important tax paperwork!