Welcome to the Opening of Tax Season

Starting today, the Internal Revenue Service is accepting 2014 tax returns. If you’re like many people, you might still be focused on paying off holiday bills. However, you should be thinking about this filing season. So, where do you start?

  1. Find last year’s tax returns and all the attached documents. Look in all the nooks and crannies, in the attic, in the storage unit – wherever those important documents might be hiding.
  2. Keep a large envelope or folder for all the incoming tax documents. Mark the envelope “Tax Documents 2014”. Noting the year on the outside will make next year’s hunt a little easier.
  3. Make a list of all the documents that you should receive. Items such as W-2’s and 1099’s from all your 2014 employers. Look at last year’s tax return. It’s a great place to start when making your list. Then go back to January 1, 2014 and give yourself 10-15 minutes to think about the changes to your life. Did you get a new job? Retire? Did you buy a home? Did you have health insurance?  Did you get married? Divorced?  Did you have a child? Did your child turn 24?
  4. With this list, as items are received, you can check them off. Once you have received all of your documents, it’s time to prepare your tax return. Don’t forget that some of these items can be obtained online (for example, student loan interest paid).
  5. If you don’t receive a form that you were expecting or a form you received has incorrect information, you should contact the person or business who issued the form. The IRS can’t help you figure this out. The IRS receives the same information you do.

So why wait for all your forms to come? While you may know exactly what you earned or how much interest you paid on your mortgage in 2014, having the official forms ensures that you have the most accurate and complete information possible. This will help avoid an overpayment or underpayment of your tax bill.

For more information about these topics, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov; the Judicare website at www.judicare.org.

Happy Tax Filing!