It's always best to take some time preparing your taxes and spend several days going over the details carefully. But let's be real — life doesn't often allow for such thoughtful meticulousness. Winter turns to Spring and next thing you know, it's almost Tax Day (which is April 18 this year) and you haven't even thought about filing those taxes.
But as is the case with so many things, haste really does make waste. So before washing your hands of this year's taxes, take a moment to check these final details, as suggested by TaxSlayer.
Carefully review all possible deductions and exemptions.
Deductions and exemptions reduce your amount of taxed income (which is a good thing!), and in fact, they can be a determining factor between getting a refund or owing the IRS. So be sure to read up on applicable deductions and exemptions and calculate them accurately. Some of the most frequently overlooked deductions and exemptions are:
- Student loan interest
- Child Independent Care Expense
- Personal contributions and donations
- Sales tax (if you can itemize on Schedule A)
Sign your documents!
Of course, it's hugely important to sign all appropriate documents — and don't forget to make sure your spouse signs if you two are filing a joint return. As the TaxSlayer experts explain, "When filing electronically, you will sign using a personal identification number (PIN). If you do not have a PIN, you can enter your adjusted gross income (AGI) from the previous year."
Make sure your personal information is totally accurate.
Type in the correct names and Social Security numbers for yourself and anyone else involved in your filing, such as your spouse and dependents. If you expect to receive a refund via direct deposit, be sure to enter the correct routing and account numbers.
Double-check your filing status.
According to TaxSlayer, "There are five different options to choose from when selecting your filing status. It's imperative to choose the right one as it will impact the outcome of your tax return."
Bottom line: Taking a few minutes now to ensure tax-filing accuracy could save you major headaches later!