The holidays are upon us and so is the 2017 Tax Season!
Before getting wrapped up in the feasting and celebrating, it might be smart to think about where you stashed that box of receipts for the year. That’s right! The 2017 tax season has snuck up on us yet again. But let’s get one thing straight. This is not a time to panic. In fact, if you’re reading this, you’re most likely ahead of the game already!
We’re here to help you get your tax situation in order. That way you can focus on the important things this time of year calls for.
Dates and Deadlines
It’s important to have some dates in mind or even marked on your calendar. Here’s the deal:
- January 1st marks the launch of the RapidTax 2016 application! You can start submitting your accounts with us and get in line for the IRS start date to e-file.
- January 23rd is when the IRS opens up the doors to e-file your return. If you have already submitted your 2016 return with RapidTax, then you wouldn’t need to worry about this date. We’ll submit it to the IRS for you.
- April 18th marks Tax Day for individual returns! It is also the last day to file a tax extension. Here’s a tip… if you aren’t able to file your return by this date, then FILE AN EXTENSION (psst, it give you an extra 6 months to file, penalty-free)
Receipts and Documents
When preparing your tax return, you’ll probably need to have a few things handy. Here’s what you can work on digging up:
- Income Statements: These are typically issued by January or February and include W-2s, 1099s, etc…
- Charitable Donation Receipts: You’ll most likely receive these at the time of donation. If not, you may want to reach out to the chosen organizations to retrieve some type of record.
- Job or Business Expense Records: The IRS has really cracked down on taxpayers itemizing their deductions. It’s essential to report your home office and car expenses. But make sure that you have the receipts to back these up.
- Health Insurance: With Obamacare in full swing, lack of health insurance can directly affect your tax return (not to mention your refund amount). You want to be sure you’re reporting this info correctly to avoid a tax penalty.
- SSNs and DOBs: This seems like a given, right? Just be sure that all digits are correct. The IRS could easily reject your return for one number being off from what they have in their database already.
- Prior Year Tax Return: You can get a lot of information directly from the return you filed last year. It contains your PIN, SSN, dependent information, state information, etc.
Truths and Rumors
Each tax season, without fail, the rumor mill starts spinning and suddenly everyone is in a tax frenzy. It’s important to take a step back and look at the facts. Especially with our new prez, Mr. Trump, there’s sure to be some confusion. If you’re unsure, contact your tax preparer or the IRS directly. Here’s what 2017 has in store so far:
Refund Delays in 2017
Congress has approved a new law that will go into effect for the 2017 tax season. From now on, the IRS is required to hold refunds on tax returns where the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) is being claimed. The IRS must hold the entire refund amount until at least February 15, 2017.
Why the sudden change?
The IRS is fully aware of the identity fraud that has occurred in past tax seasons and they have decided to work towards preventing it. That being said, this could cause some annoyance for those taxpayers who are typically early filers. If you are claiming the EITC or the ACTC, then you can expect a slight delay in your refund. The IRS does state that refunds will, for the most part, be issued within the 21 day time frame they typically ensure. Although it may be a pain to wait for your refund, one must admit that it is better than the alternative of being affected by identity theft.
So what’s going to be your first move?
Don’t let taxes get in the way of your holiday spirit. Enjoy the celebrating, decorating, and pie (LOTS of pie) before you start stressing about your tax return. Remember, the season begins mid-January so you have some time. Feeling ambitious? With RapidTax, you’ll be able to prepare your return as early as January 1, 2017. So when you decide that you’re ready, we’ll be here for you.