"I love doing my taxes."
—No one ever.
So instead of filing your taxes this past weekend, you probably chose to spring clean, furniture shop, celebrate St. Patty’s, and binge-watch your fave shows or basketball upsets.
It's okay, we get it. But consider yourself lucky, because this means we can help you get prepared with a special tax edition of The Credit Cleanup Newsletter.
Here are our favorite tips on how to organize your receipts, maximize your refund, and keep your documents secure.
Keep Your Documents Safe with These Tax Security Tips
Tax-related identity theft is the most common type of identity theft, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Common scams targeting taxpayers include: phishing emails, malware schemes, tax preparer fraud, and tax return fraud, which occurs when thieves use stolen Social Security numbers to file and then steal others’ tax refunds.
You can protect yourself by ignoring suspicious emails with unfamiliar links, creating hack-proof passwords, keeping your software up to date, and locking down your logins.
Don’t Forget These Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions and Savings
What do job-hunting costs and military-related travel expenses have in common? According to Kiplinger, they are both legitimate and often-overlooked tax deductions.
Also included are Medicare premiums for self-employed individuals, charitable contributions, and the expenses incurred by young adults when relocating for their first jobs.
Did You Know?
You can get your taxes filed for free if you:
- Earn $54,000 a year or less
- Have disabilities
- Have limited English-speaking skills
- Are 60 or older, regardless of income
Learn more about how you can qualify to file for free, and the caveats of doing so.
7 Tips to Organize Your Receipts for Tax Time
Gathering all those pesky receipts can be a headache.
On one hand, if you’re not organized, then you may miss out on valuable tax deductions.
On the other, if you make claims without receipts as proof, you risk penalties in the event of a tax audit.
According to Entrepreneur, here are some ways to keep your receipts in order:
- Make notes on receipts by purpose
- Avoid paying in cash—it’s simply too hard to track
- (If you’re more digitally-minded) Scan receipts and keep them for at least six years
- Take pictures of receipts with your smartphone
Note that if you ever get audited, your receipts will provide the crucial details that auditors want most; credit card statements alone aren’t sufficient.
Speaking of record-keeping, it’s here!
Your Ultimate Tax Checklist, Updated for 2018
Gather the documents that matter, to ensure you get your max tax refund.
(Save it to your phone, or click the image below to download it or print it from your computer.)