5 Tax Tips To Help You With Your Tax Return

The deadline for filing 2012 taxes is April 15, which is right around the corner. In case you haven?t yet started with your filing or are currently in the process of finishing, the following are 5 tax tips to help you along the way:

Tip #1 ? Take Advantage of Tax Credits On Your Return

There are multiple tax credits to consider before you file for your 2012 income tax return. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable credit available to you if you earned less than $50,270 in 2012. For 2012 returns the maximum credit is $5,891 for workers with three or more children. You can use the EITC Assistant Tool on the IRS website to find out if you qualify. There are also other tax credits available and you should be sure to look at those as well to see if you qualify.

Tip #2 ? Get Help Online From the IRS

The IRS provides free information and services to help taxpayers like you find the information you need to file your returns. For example, you can find all the forms you need to file your return online by visiting the IRS 1040 Central page. You will also be able to access to the IRS e-file and find tools like the Interactive Tax Assistant, EITC Assistant Tool and the ?Where?s My Refund?? Tool, which allows you to check the status of your tax return.

Tip #3 ? Include Tips On Your Return

If you received tips at your job in 2012, you are required to include those on your return. This includes tips you received from credit cards, cash from customers or tips that were split amongst you and your fellow co-workers. If you receive $20 or more in cash tips in one month, you have to report your tips for that month to your employer, so your employer can withhold federal income, social security, and Medicare taxes on that money. The IRS recommends that you keep a daily log of your tips to report them to your employer.

Tip #4 ? Choose A Qualified Professional Tax Preparer

If you are using a tax preparer, make sure you check his qualifications. All professional tax return preparers are required to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. Additionally, you should also ask if the preparer is part of a bigger professional organization and if they attend classes that provide continuous education on taxes. Checking the preparer?s history is another option that may be of good use. You can check a tax preparer?s history with the Better Business Bureau and inquire into their history. Also, be weary of tax preparers who charge their fee based on the percentage of your refund and claim they can obtain larger refunds that most tax preparers can. Make sure your tax refund is deposited in your bank account and never into a tax preparer?s bank account. If you decide to use DIY Tax Software, read past customer reviews to determine whether the tool would be a good fit for you. For a comparison of TurboTax and H&R Block, NerdWallet did a comparison of two, so feel free to also use that a resource.

Tip #5 ? Safeguard your Refund by Choosing Direct Deposit.

Direct deposit is the easiest, fastest, and safest way to receive your tax refund. Over 80 million taxpayers choose to receive their refunds by direct deposit. Direct deposit offers security by eliminating the possibility of paper checks being lost, stolen, or undelivered. It also provides convenience since you will not have to make an extra trip to the bank to deposit your return. You can even have the refund split into separate accounts in the case you need to share it with a spouse.

1 thought on “5 Tax Tips To Help You With Your Tax Return”

  1. Tony@WeOnlyDoThisOnce

    Great point about turning to the IRS for information. We often have such negative associations that we forget they are the ones who make the rules and that we can get info from them!

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