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2017 Tax Season Starts Soon!!!
January 12, 2017
The IRS will begin accepting and processing 2016 electronic and paper tax returns on Monday, January 23, 2017. The deadline to submit your 2016 tax return is Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Due dates for W-2s and MISC 1099s with non-employee compensation returns have been moved to January 31, 2017 and there will be no automatic extensions.
Effective in 2017, the IRS is mandated by the PATH Act to hold refunds for tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15th. The IRS encourages taxpayers claiming either credit to file their returns when they normally do, and that it is not necessary to hold their returns until after February 15th. It is important to note that while the IRS will begin to issue EITC/ACTC refunds beginning February 15th, taxpayers should not expect to receive their refunds until the week of February 27th at the earliest.
Now that you know when you can start or how long you can procrastinate…(please do NOT procrastinate). What will you need to get started? Many Americans do not keep on top of their important tax documents and if you are one of them, here is a list of things you will need before your prepare your taxes.
Tax Preparation for Personal Information
The IRS needs to know who is filing the tax return, as well as how many people are covered on it. To make this easy, they require:
Your Social Security number
Your spouse’s Social Security number (if married)
Social Security numbers for any dependents
Tax Preparation for Income Information
The following documents will help you prepare all the income information that you need to file a federal tax return:
W-2 Forms from all employers you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) worked for during the past tax year.
1099 Forms if you (or your spouse) completed contract work and earned more than $600.
Investment income information (including: interest income, dividend income, proceeds from the sale of bonds or stocks, and income from foreign investments).
Income from local and state tax refunds from the prior year.
Business income (accounting records for any business that you own)
Rental property income
Social Security benefits
Miscellaneous income (including: jury duty, lottery and gambling winnings, Form 1099-MISC for prizes and awards, and Form 1099-MSA for distributions from medical savings accounts)
Tax Preparation for Income Adjustments
The following adjustments can help reduce how much you owe in taxes, and in turn, increase your chance of receiving a tax refund:
Homebuyer tax credit
Green energy credits
Student loan interest
Medical Savings Account (MSA) contributions
Self-employed health insurance
Tax Preparation for Credits and Deductions
There are many tax credits and tax deductions for various expenses, which are designed to help lower the amount of tax that an individual has to pay:
Casualty and theft losses
Qualified business expenses
Job and moving expenses
Tax Preparation for Direct Deposit
Are you interested in having your tax refund directly deposited into your bank account? If so, you will need to provide two things:
Your bank account number
The bank’s routing number
This checklist should assist you whether you are preparing your own taxes or filing with an accountant. If you are having your 2016 taxes prepared by a professional, bring your previous year’s tax return.