Your Tax Questions Answered

tax-day-april-15

Uncle Sam wants his money.

And with looming tax deadline on April 15th, let’s tackle a few things to think about!  If you have more questions, feel free to drop me a line in the comments or on Twitter!

Disclaimer:  None of this is tax advice and any actions or changes you make must be made under the advisement of a licensed tax professional.

What’s do we need to be aware of?

Beyond IRAs, claim all eligible deductions from last year. Don’t forget about charitable contributions; go through your checking account and credit card accounts to check for anything you gave to church or for other donations. Heavy medical expenses are an overlooked deduction- if your health expenditures went up last year, you can deduct the amount by which your total medical care expenses for the year exceeded 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income.

And, believe it or not, you can take deductions for eligible gambling losses. Winnings and Losses from horse racesonline casinos and other legal wagers can be deducted just as gambling winnings are fully taxable and must be reported.  [Editor’s note:  At Slots Heaven online casino they understand the value of loyalty and reward their loyal players with a comprehensive VIP program. You can earn loyalty points when you play for real money, which can be collected and redeemed for casino bonuses]”

What if you can’t find your receipts for expenses?  Are bank statements ok?

First, promise yourself that you will be more organized next year. Second, you are doing yourself a disservice if you can’t produce the receipts since most taxpayers tend to understate their deductions when they guess. Also remember that the rules require that you be able to produce your receipts if the IRS asks. If you can’t find them by tax day, you likely won’t be able to fund them for the IRS. So consider taking the standard deduction this year.

If I owe money and can’t pay now, what will happen?

You have options. You can request to pay in installments by filling out form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. It will cost you a fee ranging from $43 to $105 plus interest, but the payment won’t be delinquent.

How do you get an extension if you’ve run out of time?   Are there penalties for getting an extension?

You can ask the IRS for more time by submitting form 4868. Six-month extensions are granted automatically. Filing an extension will allow you to avoid penalties.

If you owe taxes, you still have to pay by April 17. Filing an extension is just to get your filing in. If you have had a life change such as having a baby or starting a new job, that might be reason to see a professional tax preparer. And, keep in mind, H&R Block and TurboTax offer free advice to customers online or over the phone.

I’m sure many of you are thinking crap, crap crap!  Or if you’ve been uber organized then you’re feeling a sigh of relief!  Whatever it is, I hope this was helpful!  We’ll be continuing this question and answer series so if you have questions, let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

  • http://www.bluetaxprep.com/ BlueTax

    Thanks for the last minute tax tips. It seems no matter what year it is someone will always need a helping hand to get everything done on time.

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  • http://thecreditdude.net/2012/03/charged-off-now-what/ Charged Off Chuck

    I have been doing my own taxes for years now and like using Turbotax.  My question is: will a professional service get me more money back or is it all relative?