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5 last-minute tax tips for your upcoming return – The Motley Fool

If you're unaware, the filing date for tax returns is approaching fast this year. You have until April 17 to submit your return in 2017, and if you have stopped, it's time to get moving. Here are some tips to help with the process:

1. Decide if you will list items.

Although filing a tax return is more involved than applying for the standard deduction, it could pay off. To determine if it makes sense to break down, check that your individual deductions exceed the standard 2017 deduction, which is $ 6,350 for individuals and $ 12,700 for jointly-registered couples. Keep in mind that these figures have almost doubled for the 201

8 tax year, which means that even if you give your 2017 Yield, you will not opt ​​for it.

  The tax tips in silvered letters on a wooden background

Source: Getty Images

2. Do Not Estimate Your Deductions

If you decide to list your tax return for 2017, you must do a solid job calculating your deductions instead of guessing them. Otherwise, you risk raising a red flag with the IRS. Allow enough time to sift through your records, sift through receipts, and figure out exactly how much you spend in different categories. Round numbers tend to appear suspicious to the IRS. So, if you think that you've been earning $ 5,000 in eligible medical expenses, you're not sure if you'd rather calculate that total accurately than by going with a number that's almost too true to be true.

. 3 Report All Income

If you are a wage earner and have no other income, reporting your earnings is quite easy. However, those who receive income from various sources, whether it be freelance work or investment, are in difficulty if they fail to report all their income. So here's a firm but friendly warning: you must list all income you received on your tax return last year, and if you do not, you'll be audited sooner. Keep in mind that the IRS will also receive a copy every time you receive a 1099 Form Listing income. Try to cover up and you can face serious trouble – even if it's your $ 40 interest, you thought you might sweep under the carpet.

. 4 Learn About Tax Credits

Unlike tax deductions, which do not include some of your tax revenues, tax credits are a one-dollar reduction in your tax debt, which makes them very valuable. There are a number of credits that can lower your tax bill and, in some cases, increase your chances of a refund, so it's worth checking out some of the more popular ones.

For example, the Income Tax Credit Compared to your income and the number of dependent family members in your household, you could save up to $ 6,318 compared to the previous year. In the meantime, the child tax credit will return you $ 1,000 for every child in your household under the age of 17, unless your income is too high. (This credit has been increased by higher earners for tax year 2018. It has also doubled in value.) There are also tax credits for students and their families, so research and see how much money you can earn.

. 5 Thoroughly Check Your Return for Errors

If you have not filed your tax return at this time, you will inevitably feel in a time crisis. But that should not stop you from thoroughly checking your return. It can happen that you do not catch important mistakes, and you could be audited or your tax return is immediately denied.

What kind of mistakes could you find? Mathematical errors are common. Often tax returns are rejected, z. For example, if you misspelled your name or provided the wrong name (which could happen, for example, if you are recently married or divorced), you are using the wrong surrender status or entering your social security number incorrectly. If you want to reduce your chances of making a big mistake, submit your taxes electronically. The IRS reports that the error rate for paper returns is 21%, while for electronically submitted documents it is less than 1%. And as a bonus, if you submit electronically and receive a refund, you'll probably get it much faster than you would with a paper return.

Filing taxes can be stressful, but it does not have to be. Allow sufficient time to complete this return before the deadline. The more you have to hurry, the better your chances are that something will go horribly wrong.

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