Uncle Sam is expecting to hear from you soon. For many Americans, the April deadline to file personal taxes comes around too fast, throwing a wrench in budgets and calendars everywhere. Thankfully, there are ways you can minimize the stress and maximize your return to work in your favor. Check out these top tax-time tips.
Decide How to File
Generally speaking, most individuals and married couples file their taxes with an 1040EZ, 1040A, or 1040. The IRS has free, online guided tax preparation for most filers here. If your taxes are a little more complicated, including deductions, contributions, rentals, and more, consider using a professional service. One Nevada members can save up to $15 on federal returns with Intuit TurboTax and Love My Credit Union Rewards.
Collect Your Documents
You'll need some specific information and documents to file your taxes, whether you're using TurboTax or the free IRS forms. These include:
- 1099 forms (including 1099-A if you bought or sold secured properties, and 1099-C for cancelation of debt)
- 1099-DIV forms detailing your financial accounts (One Nevada 1099-DIV forms can be found under E-Notices in Online Banking)
- Gambling income and losses
- IRS child tax credit payments
- Other business income (including farming, fishing, bartering, etc.)
- Pension and annuity information
- Rental income and expenses
- Retirement plan information
- Scholarships and grants
- Social Security Number (for you, your spouse, and any children who live with you)
- Stock options
- Unemployment compensation
- W-2 forms from your employer(s)
Understand Your Deductions and Credits
If you made loan payments on a home, gave money to charity, moved, or basically lived a normal life in 2021, you might have some deductions and credits you can use to reduce your taxable income and the amount you owe the IRS. The more you can lower your taxable income, the more likely you are to get a return or break even.
Take a look at both lists below and gather any information you need to prove you qualify for a specific deduction or credit. Additional information is available from the IRS.
|Childcare expenses (and adoption expenses) |
Donations to charities (cash and physical goods)
Early investment withdrawal penalties
Educator expenses (for teachers)
Home equity loan interest (in some cases)
Medical or dental bills
Mortgage interest (including points)
Professional tax return preparation costs
Retirement contributions (qualifying plans)
Sale of home information
State income or sales taxes
State property taxes (if applicable)Student loan interest
|Education credits (Lifetime Learning credit) |
Family and dependent credits (related to Child Tax Credits)
Homeowner credits (energy efficiency upgrades as well as plug-in electric vehicle credits)
Income and savings credits (such as credit for excess Social Security tax withheld)
Not sure which deductions or credits you can claim? Ask a tax expert. A professional can help you pinpoint items that might reduce your tax liability. Some surprising deductions may include a swimming pool for someone with rheumatoid arthritis, jury duty expenses not covered by an employer, volunteer work expenses, and the costs associated with smoking cessation (kicking the habit).
Keep an Eye on Your Refund
If you're scheduled to receive a refund from the IRS, watch your account closely for the money. If it doesn't get deposited in the timeline the IRS provides, call them at 800-829-1040. For missing child tax credit payments, call 800-908-4184. And to report possible fraud (if someone may have filed taxes in your name and claimed the refund for themselves), call 800-366-4484.
Maintain a Tax File
Hang onto your tax returns and supporting materials for up to six years. In addition, start a new file for next year's taxes. Beginning to collect information and documents now could make tax time quicker and easier next April.
Find Financial Strength at One Nevada
Whether you need help finding financial documents or ways to save money preparing your taxes, One Nevada is here for you. Need to get your taxes done? Check out our exclusive offer from TurboTax and Love My Credit Union Rewards. As a member you can save up to $15 filing your taxes.
The information in this article is intended for general purposes. Consult a tax professional for the most current IRS and state filing data and/or personal advice.