Just because the IRS has stated they won’t be ready for tax returns until January 30, doesn’t mean you have to sit around and twiddle your thumbs. Be proactive and get ahead of those last-minute crowds who are waiting because they believe - since the IRS’s announcement - that there’s no rush.
Once you get your W2, stop in at a Liberty Tax and get your tax return prepared. At a minimum, you’ll know what’s ahead for you – a refund or payment. True, you can’t file until January 30, but getting it prepared is half the battle for most of us. And Liberty will handle the filing for you when the flood gates open.
Use time to your advantage. If you’re getting a refund, statistics say you spend the money within the first week of receiving it. So take this time to shop around if you’re planning to spend the money on a large purchase, say a new HVAC unit. You have the luxury of time to seek out the best deal while you await your refund.
If you find out you owe the IRS, knowing sooner can only help you prepare to save or review your payment options. Again, knowing what’s ahead is better than not knowing.
So take the IRS’s delay as a cue for you to get ahead of the game. Here are a few things you might want to pull together before heading into your tax preparer:
- Social Security numbers – yours, your spouses and your dependents
- Tax ID number of your child care provider
- W-2 from your employer – you should have this by January 31
- Form 1099-MISC – if you worked as a contractor
- Form 1099-INT – for interest earned on most savings accounts
- Form 1099-DIV - for each stock, mutual fund or money market account. (If you used a broker, the broker transactions will be sent on Form 1099-B.)
- Form 1098 – mortgage interest paid for each home you own
- Receipts for any state and local income taxes paid (such as your home, car, boat, etc.)
- Receipts for any charitable donation
- Mileage you traveled for volunteer work - you can’t claim your time, but you can deduct your mileage. (Use your calendar as documentation, mark the mileage driven on the days you volunteered.)