Tax season can be frustrating and overwhelming. Here are a few suggestions to help reduce your stress during this time of year.
- Secure Your Information
In the last few years, there has been a major increase in fraudulently filed tax forms. As a result, millions of Americans have lost their refunds. This issue hit close to home last year and many of our members were affected by fraud. The best way to counter this trend is to keep your personal information safe and avoid clicking on links that may be fraudulent. Fraudsters have gotten good at creating fake websites, so always be sure to double check with your employer that any link you receive for tax documents is legitimate. Always verify that a tax website is secure and trusted prior to inputting personal information, and always make sure to protect your account with a unique and secure password.
- Weigh the Options
When it comes to taxes, you have options. It is always best to weigh your options and choose the one that will ensure you are paying the correct amount of taxes. Some people choose to file their own taxes, while others may find a benefit in having a professional do the work. For complex tax situations, it may be best to consult a professional for advice on deductions and filing status. In less complex situations, it may be cheaper and easier to file your own. You may also find that this is a good time to talk to your financial advisor and look into contributing to your IRA, or other tax deferred account.
FYI: A contribution made to a Traditional IRA prior to April 17 of this year can be used as a contribution for last year. A maximum of $5,500 can be contributed annually by those under age 50, and up to $6,500 by those over age 50.
- Gather Your Documents.
Nothing makes filing your taxes easier than preparation and organization. If, over time, you have gathered all of the information you need to file your return, the process can be a breeze. Keeping receipts and other documents that may be needed can also help you to remember deductions when filing.
FYI: Documents that you may need include: W-2 for earnings, 1098 for mortgage interest, 1098-E for student loan interest, 1099-INT for dividend earnings, 1099-R for IRA withdrawals, 5498 for IRA contributions. But this is just a short list. Check out our longer list of tax forms, to find out which forms are relevant to your situation.
- Don’t Procrastinate
Procrastinating during tax season is a common error. Waiting until the last day to file your taxes may push off the responsibility but can prolong your stress. Doing your taxes early is a best practice that allows a time buffer in case something comes up to delay the process.
Want to maximize next year's return? Our Consultants can help you find the resources you need.
About Bonnie Palmer
Bonnie Palmer began working at VSECU in 2016. She started in the Contact Center and was promoted to Outreach and Loan Support Specialist within a year. Bonnie’s passion is giving the excellent member service our member’s deserve. Bonnie, her husband, and her daughter live in East Barre.