When the IRS delays the filing start date, spending is delayed. 

Due to the 15-day government shutdown in October, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is delaying the 2014 tax filing season start date until January 31.

expect delaysThe shutdown hit at the worst possible time as the IRS was in the midst of their annual preparation before tax season. While the IRS scrambles to catch up, many taxpayers are facing a delay in their refund which may leave them with past-due bills. Instead of money pouring into the economy, January, and possibly February, will see a major slowdown in spending.

This is the perfect time to get ahead of the game. Even though the IRS has stated they won’t be ready for tax returns until January 31, doesn’t mean you can’t be ready. Be proactive and get ahead of those last-minute crowds. No, you can’t file until January 31, but having your tax return prepared is half the battle for many of us.

Once the IRS is ready, Liberty Tax® will handle the filing for you. Use the time you have in January to your advantage. Statistics say those of you who get a refund, spend the money within the first week of receiving it. Take this time to do some research and shop around if you’re planning to spend the money on a large purchase. 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.

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.)

So, after you get your W2 and the above files, stop in at your local Liberty Tax® and get your tax return prepared. At a minimum, you’ll know what’s ahead for you – a refund or payment.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.