5 Things You Need to Know About Filing Taxes

The good news about filing taxes is that this year they’re not due until April 18th. You get 3 extra days!

If you want to avoid paying unnecessary taxes you’ll have to do some planning.

1. Keep track of qualified tax credit options – they boost refunds better than deductions. For each credit dollar, your taxes go down a dollar! Yet, 20% of eligible Americans don’t even claim the earned income tax credit. 5 Things You Need to Know About Filing TaxesThere is also an option for low- to moderate-income tax payers who are saving for retirement. The Savers Credit gives a tax break to these individuals and families, but only 12% of them know about it!

2. Maximize your traditional IRA to increase your Tax Refund. This year you have until April 18th to open a traditional IRA for 2016. Contributions reduce your taxable income and can be claimed this year. If you’re at least 50 years old, consider the catch-up provision. Roth IRAs provide no tax break for contributions, but earnings and withdrawals are generally tax-free.

3. File on time or file for an extension. Filing on time is always the best option, but if you are unable to, be sure to file for an extension. You can gain some time with an extension but must file at the end of that time to avoid penalties. You may be eligible for an installment payment plan but expect to pay interest fees.

4. Aim for a zero tax refund. The average tax return in 2015 was $3,120. That amounts to $260 a month of YOUR money that the government used interest free! Adjust the withholding from your paycheck or if you are self-employed, adjust your quarterly estimated payments.

5. Directly depost the refund you receive. It is easy, secure and the fastest way to get your tax refund. Nine out of 10 refunds are issued within 21 days or less, compared to six to eight weeks for paper-filed tax returns.

Above all, continue to steward the resources, time, and knowledge God has given you!