How to Prepare for Your 2017 Taxes | What You'll Need and How to File

How to Prepare for Your 2017 Taxes | What You’ll Need and How to File

As the holidays creep up, it is time to consider getting ready for tax time; many taxpayers are shocked at how quickly the deadline for filing sneaks up on them. You can avoid the last-minute crush by starting to gather important documents.

Identifying Eligible Deductions

One of the best ways to reduce your overall tax burden is to ensure you have properly documented deductions. The typical deductions include your contributions to a retirement account, medical expenses totaling more than 10 percent of your gross income, property taxes, mortgage interest paid, and charitable contributions. Do not overlook the taxes you paid including sales tax, and state and local taxes. Remember, if you purchased a new car, recreational vehicle, or other large purchase, the sales tax deduction could be a substantial amount. Do not overlook possible deductions for a home office if you work from home, even part-time.

Understanding Credit Eligibility

There are certain tax credits you may be eligible for, which offer a dollar for dollar reduction of amounts owed, that you should be aware of. Some of these include 401(k) contributions, tax credits for insurance premiums, child care credits, and education related credits. Many of these require specific tax forms which must be included with your return. Talk to your tax preparation professional to make sure you are not missing out on these valuable credits.

The Basics Matter

Let’s not overlook the obvious information; you will need your tax forms for wages received whether W-2 or 1099 reporting. In addition, you will need your social security number as well as numbers for any dependents or joint filers. Your federal and state tax returns from last year should also be put with all other important documents as they will be reviewed by your tax professional.

Filing Your Returns

Once you have gathered all required paperwork, you will then have to determine which tax forms are necessary, whether to file electronically or use a paper return, and how to pay any amounts you owe to the IRS. Fortunately, you do not have to make these decisions on your own. Remember, if you get started early, you may be able to make an additional contribution to your retirement account to further reduce your tax burden; waiting until the last minute is never a good idea.

At Rue & Associates, we have built a reputation for helping people prepare for the inevitable process of filing their taxes. Our team takes the guesswork out of filing; and are committed to making sure you get every deduction, and credit you are entitled to, which can reduce your tax burden. We provide high quality, affordable tax preparation services across Central Virginia including Mechanicsville, Richmond, Hanover, Henrico and surrounding areas. Contact us today – we are here to help ensure the filing process is as simple as possible.

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