So, I had the video with Farnoosh with a ton of suggestions for everything finance. Most of my questions are centered around taxes, because what's the main point of keeping your finances straightened out? Easier tax-time. Here are a few tax tips for those of you, like me, that haven't done the tax thing yet. (Read these, and keep going, because there's a surprise giveaway at the bottom.)
Good news is you have three EXTRA days this year to file, due to April 15 falling on a holiday in D.C. this year.
1. File Online. Go green and save time and money. Choose from a variety of affordable online software to help you file your taxes [like H&R Block At Home Deluxe & At Home Business]. Note that taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $58,000 or less in 2010 can file electronically for free through the IRS web site at freefile.IRS.gov.
2. Boost IRA Savings. Contributing to a traditional IRA is one of the last ways to really reduce your 2010 taxable income before April 18. You have until the very last day to contribute to this retirement account and deduct the amount from your taxable income. The dollar limit contribution for 2010 is $5,000 is you’re 49 or younger. $6,000 if you’re age 50 or older.
3. Remember the Basics. Be sure to sign and date your 1040. Review your personal identification – social security, address, business ID (for business owners), etc.
4. Opt for Direct Deposit. Another perk to filing electronically is that if you're expecting a refund, you can get your check sent directly to your savings account. And because you avoid snail mail you can probably get paid a week early.
5. Add Up All Your Write-Offs. Deductible expenses here and there can add up to big savings come tax day. Job hunting-related expenses such as relocation (50 miles away from current home), travel and meals, copies, faxes, are eligible for a tax deduction. Also, if you are self-employed you may receive deductions for insurance paid out of pocket and any self-employment taxes. Don’t forget deductions for student loan interest and medical savings accounts, too.
6. Make a Copy of Your Return. It will come in handy when filling out next year’s return. Plus if you apply for a mortgage or a refinance, banks will want to see your tax return. Keep returns for an average 3 years from when it was filed, during which time the IRS is most likely to audit (if at all).
7. Stay Organized. As soon as you’re done filing make sure you keep all your paperwork organized. Your return, your paystubs, your receipts, will all come in handy down the road if (and I hope this doesn’t happen) the IRS decides to audit your return or if there is a discrepancy between the IRS records and what you claimed and you need to prove that, indeed, you filed everything correctly.
8. Out of Time? Get an Extension. If you absolutely can’t make the April 18th deadline this year, you can request a six-month extension by filling out the IRS Form 4868.
If you've still got questions, you can check out Office Depot's tax site as well.
Ready for the giveaway? Here it is! TWO of you lucky people are going to win your choice of H&R Block’s At Home Deluxe or Business tax software (thanks to Office Depot for sponsoring the giveaway). Free tax software! Sweet, right? Here's what you have to do to enter:
First entry - leave me a comment. (Simple!) Really, really want to win? Get some bonus entries; just make sure to leave me a comment for each thing you do!
--visit Office Depot's tax site and give me a tip for my taxes
--Follow this blog
--Follow me on Twitter, and tweet about this giveaway, with a link to the giveaway
--Add my button to your site
--Blog about the giveaway and leave me the link
You can do as many of these things as you want to enter, just make sure you comment before midnight MST on Saturday, February 26th. I'll draw the winners using random.org and will post the results as soon as possible after that.