NEW YORK, April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With the countdown to Tax Day ticking away, taxpayers may be scrambling to file their taxes before the deadline, which is April 18th this year. However, the 31st edition of the EY Tax Guide encourages taxpayers to slow down, take their time and check for any mistakes that could potentially leave money on the table.
"It's easy to make mistakes when you are rushing," says Greg Rosica, contributing author to the EY Tax Guide 2016. "If you waited until the last minute – you're not alone. Take a deep breath and start thinking back on personal life changes that occurred over last year such as a new job, marital or family status, or large purchase. Think about any major decisions you made that can have tax implications. Most importantly, look at last year's return and make sure you have similar documents to include this year and to support any of the deductions or income you include this year."
Don't rush to file. Use these 11 last-minute tips from the EY Tax Guide 2016 as your checklist:
- First and foremost, check your math, or input if you use software to file.
- Be sure that your Form W-2 and all Form 1099s are correct. If not, have them corrected as soon as possible.
- Check that you signed and dated your return and entered your occupation. If you are filing a joint return, be sure that your spouse also signs as required.
- Double-check that your social security number is correct on the return.
- Triple check that you have claimed all of your eligible dependents, such as elderly parents who may not live with you.
- Attach all copies B of your W-2 forms to your return in order to avoid correspondence with the IRS. If you received a Form 1099-R showing federal income tax withheld, attach copy B of that form as well.
- This year, retain for your records any health coverage tax forms you received (1095-A, 1095-B or 1095-C) from the IRS to prove you have health insurance and, therefore, aren't required to pay any tax penalties.
- If you're married and both spouses work, look into whether a married filing separate return is more beneficial than a joint return.
- If you are single and have a dependent who lives with you, consider the possibility that you might qualify for the lower tax rates available to a head of household or surviving spouse.
- If you worked two or more jobs, see if you can claim a credit for any overpaid social security taxes withheld from your wages.
- Keep copies of all documents you have sent to the IRS.
"If you like to wait until the very end you're in luck this year," said Rosica. "Due to April 15th coinciding with a Washington, D.C., holiday this year, the deadline for Form 1040 filing will be extended to April 18th. You can also request an automatic six-month extension if you feel you need more time to prepare your return. The extension gives you until October 18, but you can file any time before then. However, you still have to pay the IRS your estimated tax bill by April 18."
Visit www.ey.com/EYtaxguide for more tips, suggestions and information.
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