How to Plan Ahead for the 2018 Filing Season to Avoid Delays
The end of the year brings on plenty of stresses and preparation for the new year. That includes preparing to file your 2017 tax return. By taking just a few steps, you can not only help avoid delays in getting your tax refund, you can make filing your taxes a smoother process.
Gather All Tax Documents
One of the first and easiest things you can do is gather all your tax documents. It may seem like a no brainer, but getting together and keeping all your tax documents can help make it easier when it comes time to use those. These documents can include W-2 forms from your employers, Form 1099 from banks, charitable donation receipts, and other items you may need to substantiate your deductions. Some of these forms will not arrive until after January 1st, but it’s good to get what you can in place. Keep these organized and in a folder in a place you’ll remember. You can even scan the documents onto your computer so you have a digital copy as well. All taxpayers should keep a copy of your tax returns and all the supporting documents for a minimum of three years.
Renew Your Expiring ITINs
Some taxpayers may need to renew their Individual Taxpayer Number. If you don’t renew, you could get a delay on your refund or lose key tax benefits. Any ITIN not used on a tax return in the past three years will expire at the end of the year, along with ITINs with middle digits 70,71,72 or 80. You can renew your ITIN by using the Form W-7. If you are unsure of if you have or need to renew your ITIN, you can get more information here.
Refunds Held for Those Claiming EITC or ACTC Until Mid-Feb
By Law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for people claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. The law requires the IRS holds the entire refund, even the portion not associated with the two tax credits. This additional period is due to several factors, including the Presidents Day holiday and banking and financial systems needing time to process deposits.
For A faster Refund, Choose e-file
Electronically filing a tax return is the most accurate way to prepare and file. Errors on your tax return can delay refunds and the easiest way to avoid them is to e-file. You can find all the ways to e-file though the IRS’s website.
Use Direct Deposit
If you file electronically and used direct deposit for your refund, you will get your refund a lot faster. With direct deposit, a refund goes directly into a taxpayer’s bank account. There’s no reason to worry about a lost or stolen or undeliverable refund check. This is the same electronic transfer system now used to deposit nearly 98 percent of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits. Nearly four out of five federal tax refunds are direct deposited.
If you are unsure of what papers your need to file your 2017 tax return, or need help filing, Polston Tax has a team of tax preparers that can help you not only find every deduction you deserve, but make sure you file your return quickly and accurately. Call us today at 844-841-9857 or fill out the form for a free no-risk consultation.