Tax Tips

Written by Jennifer Vogler

Spring, 2017

Tax time is here and the High Falls Advisors tax team is gearing up for the season.  With that in mind, we have a few tips that might help you as you prepare to meet with your tax advisor or gather information to file your own taxes:

  • Designate a box, envelope or folder to collect 1099s and other tax forms as they trickle in from the various companies and employers;
  • For items such as charitable receipts or self-employed business expenses, collect the information early in the season while your memory of those 2016 expenditures is fresh.
  • Verify you have all the necessary documentation by comparing what you reported on your previous year’s return.  Document any major life-changes that may affect your filing such as retirement, marriage, birth, house purchase, or college.
  • Designate a box, envelope or folder to collect 1099s and other tax forms as they trickle in from the various companies and employers.
  • For items such as charitable receipts or self-employed business expenses, collect the information early in the season while your memory of those 2016 expenditures is fresh.
  • Verify you have all the necessary documentation by comparing what you reported on your previous year’s return.  Document any major life-changes that may affect your filing such as retirement, marriage, birth, house purchase, or college.
  • File early in the season if you are able and have all the required documentation.  If you’re getting a refund, you’ll have it sooner.  If you owe, you’ll have more time to determine how the IRS will get paid.  If you’re worried about identity theft, you can possibly beat the scammer trying to file a false return in your name.
  • There are still actions that you can take before the filing deadline (April 18, 2017 this year) that can affect the 2016 filing.  If you are eligible, you can contribute to IRAs, HSAs and Roth accounts by the filing deadline and still have those contributions count for the 2016 return.
  • Don’t stress if you can’t get the paperwork together by the deadline or if you find you’ve made a mistake or omission.  The IRS gives an automatic six-month extension with the filing of Form 4868 (*payment, if you owe,  is due by April 18, 2017 so try to send in at least an estimate of that payment with the extension to avoid possible penalties and interest).  If you find you made a mistake or an omission, you can file an amended return.
  • Visit the Tax Tools section on our website.  This resource includes tax gathering worksheets and checklists that you might find helpful as you gather your tax data as well as information on High Falls Advisors’ tax preparation services.
  • Remember that the IRS never contacts you by phone.  Phone scams with callers claiming to be IRS officials and/or law enforcement continue to be reported.  Similar calls have also been reported with callers identifying themselves as officials from Social Security.  Do not provide any personal data over the phone unless you are certain the call is legitimate. 

 

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