The deadline to file your taxes is only a few weeks away. I’ve already filed my federal and state returns, and received my refunds. Score! If you have not filed your tax returns yet, then you’re going to want to read about my six tax filing tips. My advice can help you get a bigger refund, get a refund quicker, lower your tax, file your taxes for free, organize your tax documents, and win $1000.
Six Great Tax Filing Tips for 2013
- E-file your taxes for free
There are several websites that let you file your federal taxes online for free (state e-filing costs about $10). E-filing is fast and easy (much easier than trying to figure out the paper tax forms and schedules on your own). Below are some sites that offer free federal tax filing:
Request electronic copies of your tax forms
In many cases, employers and banks offer electronic version of tax forms. For instance, I was able to download pdf’s of my tax documents online from my employer, banks, and mortgage lender before I received the paper forms in the mail. By downloading the electronic versions, I was able to start on my taxes sooner and get my refund quicker.
Store electronic forms in Master Lock Vault
For me, the toughest part of working with electronic forms is remembering the computer folders I saved them in. Next time, I plan on storing my documents in the Master Lock Vault. The free, secure service is easy to access, and I don’t have to deal with paper documents getting lost, misplaced, stolen or damaged. BTW, you can upload paper documents by scanning or taking photos of important receipts and expenses.
Get a refund quickly with direct deposit
If you’re getting a refund this year, then select direct deposit to your bank for the refund method. It’s free and a lot quicker than a check in the mail. In my case, I received my federal and state refunds within a week.
Reduce your taxes with an IRA or 529 college savings plan
If you owe taxes this year, there is still time to make an IRA contribution. The IRS allows you to contribute to the previous tax year up until the normal federal tax deadline (April 15th). In addition, you cam make a tax deductible contribution to a 529 college savings plan. The deadline to fund 529 plans and receive a state income tax deduction is December 31st. However (don’t hold me to this), the following states allow a deduction for contributions until the state’s tax filing deadline: Oregon, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.
Win $1000 in the Tax Relief Rewards Sweepstakes
You can enter the Master Lock Tax Relief Rewards Sweepstakes to win one of five $1,000 prizes. You can use $1000, right? No purchase is necessary to enter. The deadline to enter the contest is April 16, 2013 (6:59:59 am CDT).
[Disclosure: I am a member of the Live Secure Safety Squad, which I am compensated for. As always, the opinions expressed are mine and I am not obligated to write a positive review.]