Budgeting & Saving

3 Tax Tips for Procrastination Prone Millennials

This post is part of the TaxACT #BeatTheDeadline blog tour which shares tips on how to make tax time a smooth and easy process before the April 15deadline. TaxACT provides the tools and guidance to help you confidently file taxes easy and fast. Do your own taxes today at TaxACT. You got this.

Are you a millennial do it yourself-er that has a hard time with deadlines? And by that I mean, were you planning to do your taxes early on and for some reason the date has crept up on you? I realize that life gets in the way sometimes. And tax season is no different. If you still have to file your taxes, here are 3 simple tips for you; the procrastination prone millennial.

Pull Together All Tax-Related Documents

Take a few hours to organize. Get your W-2, 1099, student loan interest forms, dividend and interest paperwork, and any other tax related document that came in over the last few months. With all of these documents in front of you, it will be easier to cover all of your bases.

Any employers should have placed your W-2 in the mail by January 31st. Student loan interest forms typically arrive shortly afterwards, around early to mid February. Dividend and interest forms may come at a later date; however you can estimate the expected dollar amount using your monthly bank statements. Some investment companies have agreements in place to allow you to import your information directly into your tax filing software. For example, if you have an automated investment account with Betterment, you can import all of your gain and loss data directly into the TaxAct software.

Get Your Education Perks

As a millennial, you are likely either in college or have started paying back any loans from college. If neither of these situations describes you, keep reading, because you may have some education perks coming to you anyway.

Some college students are eligible for Education Tax Credits, while others will be eligible for a tax deduction based on education spending.

American Opportunity Credit: This was set to expire at the end of 2010 but was extended for an additional seven years through December 2017 by the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012. The full credit is available to individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels.

If you do not qualify for the American Opportunity Credit, you may qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit. You cannot take the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit for the same student in the same year.
Lifetime Learning Credits: This credit can help pay for undergraduate, graduate and professional degree courses – including courses to improve job skills – regardless of the number of years in the program. Eligible taxpayers may qualify for up to $2,000 per tax return.

Use the Electronic Filing Option

Mailing tax forms is not the right strategy for a procrastinator. What if you make it to the post office too late or you forget a stamp? Instead, choose to electronically file your taxes, known as E-file. This will allow you to quickly and easily submit your taxes.

Not sure if you need to file taxes? Check out The Ultimate Tax Guide for Millennials for the answer.

Beating the tax deadline doesn’t have to be stressful. With TaxACT, everything you need to confidently prepare and e-file your taxes is right at your fingertips. You got this. File your simple or complex federal return FREE today with TaxACT Free Edition.

Originally posted 2015-04-09 02:00:13.

Budgeting & Saving

How to File Your Taxes on the Cheap

Tax season is upon us and accountants are flooded with receipts. If you do your own taxes you are probably collecting all of your documents and W-2s so you can file soon. I recently read an article on Forbes about how to file your taxes on the cheap and it mentions the various computer-based programs that are available to you.

If your parents are still claiming you then you probably won’t be filing and claiming deductions, but it would still be good for you to start learning how to prepare your tax returns for once you do start to claim yourself.

How to Handle Investments

As an investor, you will need several statements when you begin to file your taxes. Your brokerage should give you a form that will summarize your buys and sells for that year. If you traded stocks in an IRA then you won’t get your final forms until after April since you have until April of the current year to contribute to your IRA for the present year.

How to Handle Business Income

If you began a business this year or worked as a 1099 employee then you will definitely need the help of a professional tax preparer to make sure that you get all of the deductions you are entitled to. I like to use, it pulls in all of my information from the previous year and guides me step by step through all of the deductions and credits I am entitled to. Even if you only worked at a pizza delivery boy, you may be able to deduct the cost of maintaining your car. Tax credits for each year are updated in the newest version of TurboTax.

Looking for more help? Visit The Ultimate Tax Guide for Young Adults to answer your tax questions.

For next tax year, begin saving all of your receipts and writing down your mileage and where you were going. You would be surprised at how many deductions apply to small businesses and 1099 independent contractors. See Pub 1799 for Independent Contractor and Pub 334 for Tax Guide for Small Business. If you decide to do your taxes on your own you should visit and research the forms you will need. They will mail you any IRS publications you will need free of charge.

How do you do your taxes? Do you use tax software or hire an accountant?

Originally posted 2015-01-31 06:00:00.