Taxes. The dreaded time is upon us. Before you moan and groan, take a moment to read a few quick tips. We’ve got some insight that will hopefully make this tax season a little bit easier.
The Sooner You File the Safer You Are
One of the ways thieves get victims’ money is by filing early and using stolen information. You may not realize you’re a victim until you try to file your own taxes, and the IRS says, “Hmm, looks like you already did this.” Two ways to avoid that is by (1) filing as early as possible to beat the fraudsters, and (2) by getting an Identity Protection PIN through the IRS. You use the PIN every time you file, so the IRS knows it’s really you and not a thief.
Get the Right Links to the Right Places
With so many advertisements cluttering your web browser, how do you know you’re getting the correct tax form and not some scam or promotion that requires a special fee? Go straight to the source – the official IRS website. They have a “Forms & Publications” web page with current tax forms, eBooks, forms from previous years, and even descriptions of each form so you know what you’re getting into. They also provide different formats for people who prefer large print, text versus HTML, voice-recognition or screen-reading capabilities, and more.
Clean Up Your Records
Once you’re done filing your taxes, you probably never want to look at a form again (at least until next year), but taking the time to properly store or get rid of tax documents will make things much easier moving forward. For example, always keep copies of your tax returns so you can reference them for future tax returns and/or any possible amendments. Any other documents used for taxes need to be saved or properly discarded (i.e. cross-shredded to keep them out of the hands of fraudsters).
The amount of time you keep a document that is not a tax return depends on the event, action or expense recorded in that particular document. You may have to keep it for as little as three years or indefinitely. The IRS gives a set of rules to help you figure out how long to keep a particular record. Just remember that even if you no longer have to keep a document for tax purposes according to the IRS, you still want to make sure you don’t need it for something else (like insurance) before you get rid of it.
Talk to Your Personal Tax Specialist
The last tip we have for you is the one we’re most excited about – your Money Coach Tax Specialist!
Your Money Coach is someone you can trust when it comes to taxes. Each person on our MSA Tax Team is a financial professional with years of experience, and they all have a passion for helping people just like you. Plus, they take your entire financial picture into account.
When you work with a Money Coach, you can tackle the hard questions about taxes AND you have the opportunity to explore goals and challenges in other areas of finance. They can also tell you how to get a discount on tax preparation services and get you connected with a Fraud Resolution SpecialistTM for more information about protecting your identity.
Taxes don’t have to be a burden when you’ve got a team of money coaches to walk alongside you. For answers and peace of mind, talk to your Money Coach. Call 888-724-2326 today.
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