It’s Time to Get Moving on Your Taxes

tax return

If you haven’t already started getting ready to file your taxes, now is definitely the time. Yes, it is that time of year again. April 15th is just around the corner and that means tax filing time. Read top article!

Nobody likes to prepare tax returns. Okay, maybe accountants but that is about it. The key is to minimize the pain by having a plan and following it. The plan should be broken down into parts. Accomplish one part every other night, and will be done before you know it.

The first step to your plan is to get organized. Depending on the complexity of your tax return, this can be a quick task or a longer one. If you run a business and must file a Schedule C, you are going to need to allocate some serious time to getting your expenses and revenues together. If you don’t run a business, getting your tax documents together can be done in a few minutes since you should only need a W-2 and a few 1099s if you have dividend income or what have you.

It goes without saying that his has been a year for the ages from an economic perspective. I don’t mean that in a positive way. What if you just don’t have time to deal with your taxes right now as you try to keep everything together in your life? Well, you can file for an extension to file your return. The extension is automatically approved for six months. You want to send in Form 4868 on or before the tax deadline. visit http://www.taxreturn247.com.au today!

Although the extension to file a tax return is automatic, the deadline to actually pay the taxes you owe is still April 15th. This seems a bit strange since one must wonder how you are supposed to know what you owe before preparing your tax return, but who are we to question the government? Just eyeball it and send in the money you think will be owed. You can always get a refund if it is excessive.

Given the current economic climate, you might not have the money to pay your taxes. This is certainly understandable. You should still go ahead and file your tax return. Remember, the return is for 2015, not 2016. You might have a refund due from last year, which would be money you could use. You also might have had serious losses you can use to get a refund. Don’t just assume you’ll owe.

tax return
Tax Time

All is not lost if you do end up owing money for 2015. The IRS is fully aware that people are having problems. The agency will stay with you as long as you stay in the system, which means filing tax returns. The agency may put you on a payment plan or, if you are wiped out financially, the agency may just dismiss the entire tax you owe. The point is the IRS will not just go after what little you have set aside, so don’t worry about it.

Tax time can be a stressful period for millions of Americans in the best of times. These are not the best of times. Don’t let your taxes get you down. Cut the process up into bite sized chunks and take it one step at a time. You’ll be done with the dastardly task before you know it.

Important Proof Documentation for Your Tax Returns

Hiring a tax professional

Now that the tax return period is over, at least for those who did not file for an extension, there is always the temptation to push away all the tax preparation documentation and move on into new things. However, before you toss aside your tax documentation, you need to know that the IRS expects you to file your documents for at least 3 years. This is because the IRS can audit your returns up to three years from when you filed them. However, if you had understated you income in any given year by over 25%, the IRS can audit you after 6 years of filing such an “erroneous” return.

Finally, if you had submitted a fraudulent tax return or did not file a tax return at all, the IRS can audit you indefinitely. Therefore, even if you filed your tax returns correctly, you should still keep your tax return documentation for at least three years, just in case. However, note that there are many States that require taxpayers to keep tax documentation for at least four years. Therefore, to be safe, it would be best to keep your tax support documentation for at least four years after filing returns.

However, there are still other documentations that you may need to keep for a longer period for various reasons:

  • If you made a capital gain loss and you need to deduct the loss against future taxable income, then you will need to keep the loss documentation for each year you deduct the losses and, therefore, you will need the loss documentation at least for four years after the year that you made such deductions.
  • If you made major renovations to your house, you will need to keep the receipts and other adjustments documentation together with your records for the purchase of the house until you sell the house. This is because you will need the support documentation when calculating the capital gain tax on the sale of the house.Read more here!
  • If you sold your property under a 1031 exchange, then the sales agreement support documentation will be required as long as you are receiving the sale exchange deposits. You should keep the documentation for at least four years after you receive your final deposit and had wrapped up the sale.
  • If you had any carry forward funds such as business losses carried forward, deferred tax carried forward from sale of a house, and a passive loss carried forward, you will need the relevant documentation until you have exhausted the carry forward and four years thereafter.
  • If you are disabled and take credits on taxes because of your disability, then you will need to keep the record from a medical practitioner that stated that you are disabled to keep evidence of the date you were officially declared disabled.
  • Hiring a tax professionalIf you make retirement contributions, keep the contribution statements, such as the IRS Form 8606, Form 5498, and Form 1099-R, until you receive the final distribution from your retirement fund.
  • At times, you may be required to take photographs as support documentation. This comes to play when you have a home office and when claiming casualty or theft loss deductions. Read the news coming from http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/taxes/articles/2017-01-05/5-signs-you-need-professional-tax-help

For the rest of the support documentation such as paystubs, copies of your tax returns, fund distribution forms, investment records, bank statements, medical bills, and any other support receipts, you can file them for the four year period. When you can safely establish that you will not require them again, you can and should destroy the documentation (an option is to shred them) to protect your private information. However, it is always advisable to keep an electronic file of all your documents for future reference.