5 Tips For Filing Your Taxes

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Just like health insurance, taxes seem to be a vortex of adulthood that can never be understood: all the forms, the schedules, the realization that you made more than you anticipated but where the hell did it go? (The answer: Chicago’s nightlife and all that traveling.) And being single, which usually means you rent vs. own, means that you’re getting double screwed by not having the house and marriage deduction. Thanks Uncle Sam. While it’s not fun, these 5 tips for filing your taxes might make tax season just a little more bearable:

Hire an Accountant

tips for filing your taxes

I’ve been rocking the Turbo Tax and doing my own taxes since ever and finally broke down this year and shopped it out. More so because I didn’t have the emotional wherewithal, time nor patience to do it myself, but also because I was hoping to find a tax genius that would actually find me money this year. Spend the money and just do it.

Multiple Jobs? Claim 0

tips for filing your taxes

If surviving in a big city requires a part-time job or two, consider your allowance status. Multiple jobs will risk under-withholding taxes if you go for the traditional 1 allowance like we’ve all been taught to do. Claim 0 instead to not be hit with owing at the end of the year or just plan for it and put money aside. If you’re married and also working multiple jobs, you might want to “reconsider” your relationship status.

tips for filing your taxes

April 15th Isn’t Really A Deadline

I lie. It is. But if you can’t make it by the 15th and you DON’T owe the government, then all you’re doing is extending the amount of time your return hits your pocketbook. Late fees are only incurred on money owed. But don’t wait too long and risk tax-refund fraud. (Note, if you converted a Traditional IRA to a Roth, you WILL have to file on time.)

Open a Traditional IRA

If you’re balling or got some dough lying around making 1% on a Chase savings account and need deductions more than Azealia Banks needs a new publicist (I’m looking at you Freelancer!), consider opening up a Traditional IRA to soften the blow of what you’ll have to pay. You’ll be contributing to your retirement while also keeping your money out of the government’s hands.

Weigh Your Payment Plan Options

5 tips for filing your taxes

If you’re like me, you don’t have extra cash laying around when that four-figured bill comes through. Which makes every tax season a ping-pong accounting match. But don’t freak out and run away. (Okay, maybe pull out the vodka.) Good news: The IRS provides payment plans. Bad news: It comes at a cost of a setup fee of $52 or $105 for plans without direct debit withdrawals. You’ll also be charged interest and a monthly 0.25 percent late fee. Another option to do at your own risk: If you have good credit and can open a line of credit at 0% interest rate for 12-18 months and know that you won’t do bad things with that said line of credit, you can pay your taxes off slowly without the added fee.

Have any tips for tax season? Share them below (because really, we need the money tree, no, really)!


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