1. You must have a valid government issued picture ID in order to file your taxes.
Start thinking about this now – if you do not drive or your license may have expired.
2. Be prepared to answer common tax questions.
We have put together a useful planning checklist that will help prepare you. Don’t be afraid to get started, we used simple yes or no questions, and this will be incredibly helpful to have when you file your return.
4. File Early to Avoid Identity Theft.
From the IRS: The earlier you file your taxes, the less likely you are to be a victim of Identity Fraud.
- When you file early, identity thieves have less time to assume your identity and file on your behalf.
- See this guide from the IRS for more tips on avoiding fraud
5. The IRS will never call you on the phone.
Repeat: The IRS will NEVER call you on the phone! If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, HANG UP – it is fraud.
6. Common Misconception about 529 and IRA Contributions:
Misconception: I wish I could contribute more to my 529 and IRA accounts and make deductions on my taxes, but that ship has sailed for 2017.
The truth: You can contribute to 529’s or IRA accounts until April 17, 2018 for a 2017 contribution, or you can apply those early 2018 contributions to your 2018 taxes, if you wish.
7. Common Misconception about When to File vs. When to Pay
Misconception: I’ll just wait until the last minute to file my taxes. I don’t want the IRS to get my check any earlier than absolutely necessary.
The Truth: Even if you file your taxes before the April 17th deadline, you are not required to pay until April 17th. Feel free to file now and pay later. Please note: If you do get an extension to file your taxes, you are still required to pay on April 17th.
8. Common Misconception about IRA Disbursements
Misconception: I wish I could use some of the money from my IRA to pay for an upcoming expense, but I really don’t want to pay the 10% IRS penalty for taking the disbursement before I turn 59 ½ or taxes on a distribution.
The Truth: Once a year (rolling 12 months), you can take a distribution from your IRA without penalty or taxes, as long as you repay the distribution within 60 calendar days.
*FinTrust Investment Advisors, LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.