The Ultimate Tax Preparation Checklist for Last-Minute Filers
Taxes are due Tuesday, April 18 – the deadline is swiftly approaching. While some Americans have already dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s, thousands are still waiting until the last minute to file their tax returns.
If you too haven’t filed your taxes yet, start now.
Rushing through the process only leads to mistakes on tax forms, math errors, and lost deductions, which eventually results in IRS rejecting the tax returns and hefty fines and penalties.
That’s why, to avoid last-minute mistakes, it’s important to double-check your return before pushing it out of the door.
Make sure to run yourself through this checklist before finalizing your return to cross the finish line safely and with complete confidence:
1 Familiarize Yourself with the Process
Filing tax returns for the first time could be a tricky process. To avoid mistakes, it’s best to have the right knowledge and information at hand.
Gather all the necessary tax forms, including your W2 form, 1099 and 1099-NT forms, receipts of charitable donations, medical expenses, and receipts of any other expenses that are worthy of deductions. Now do your math and find out how much tax you owe. You can take the help of online income tax calculators to estimate how much tax you have to pay on your income.
However, for first-time filers as well as people who are not familiar with the process, it’s always a good idea to consult an experienced tax advisor or use reputable tax software to ensure a smooth and accurate filing process.
2 Make Sure Your Personal Information is Filled in Correctly
It is important to fill in the correct personal information about yourself and your dependents, including full names, social security numbers, and dates of birth. So, double-check all the details to make sure there’s no error. Also,
- If you’ve recently changed moved to a new address, make sure to include Form 8822.
- Include all W-2s, 1099s, and other required forms and schedules.
- Verify the Social Security numbers for all individuals, including the dependents listed on your tax return.
- Sign and date your return accurately. In a joint return, both spouses must sign the return, even if only one has income to report.
3 Choose the Right Health Coverage Form as per Your Need
Form 1095 exists in three versions: A, B and C. Make sure to choose the correct one.
- Form 1095-A – If your health insurance is done through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You need to fill in the information from this form in your tax return but you don’t have to attach the form with your return.
- Form 1095-B – If you are covered by minimum essential coverage.
- Form 1095-C – If you are covered by a plan sponsored by an applicable large employer (ALE).
While you need Form 1095-A, you don’t have to wait for 1095-B or 1095-C to file your return.
4 Max Out Your Advantaged Account
The 401(k) is a powerful retirement saving tool. And even though the deadline for 401(k) contributions has already passed (Dec. 31, 2022), you can still contribute to your Roth IRA or traditional IRA accounts.
However, for Roth IRA, there are contribution limits that are based on your income. You can connect with an experienced investment professional for expert advice. He/ she can help you max out 401(k) contributions as well as explore other retirement savings options for maximum tax benefits.
5 Check If You Have Leveraged All the Deductions and Credits That May Benefit You
There are multiple tax credits and deductions that can help you during tax time. Before filing your return, check if have utilized them to maximum tax relief. These include:
- Earned income tax credit (EITC)
- Advance Child Tax Credit (CTC)
- Tax Benefits for Education
- Energy Tax Incentives
- Tax Relief in Disaster Situations
- Federal Tax Deductions for Charitable Donation
- Deducting moving expenses for members of the military
Find out all the deductions and credits that could benefit you and take full advantage of them.
Connect With Quantum Tax Consultants for Expert Help
Tax time is stressful and tiring for most Americans, especially if you are a first-timer or someone who is not so confident about the recent tax law changes. Last-minute rush can make the whole process even more intimidating. You may overlook the deductions and credits that you are entitled to and lose out on eligible tax breaks.
Whatever your reason for the delay, at Quantum Tax, we are here to help you. Our Individual Tax Services are geared to help you manage every aspect of your taxation needs.
Our experienced tax professionals can help you comply with IRS requirements so that you can file your taxes with complete confidence. They go above and beyond to take advantage of all the available tax breaks so that you can save the most on your state and federal taxes.
Connect with us today for all your tax planning and preparation need and stay tax-ready!