The tax code is written to encourage people to take specific actions in their lives. One of these things is pursuing higher education. If you are interested in going to college or getting some other form of higher education, it can be made more affordable through the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit. This can be applied to yourself, your spouse, or your children. Even if you don’t qualify for these programs, you can also claim most types of tuition and other fees as a deduction on your taxes.
GET READY FOR YOUR TAXES EARLY
You don’t want to wait for the last minute to get ready for your taxes. Even if they are relatively simple, putting them off until April can be quite stressful. In addition, if you are owed a refund, this will only delay getting what you are owed. These quick tips can help you to prepare early for filing your taxes:
• Keep Your Records Handy – Gather all your records together in one convenient place so you can grab them as soon as you are ready to file.
• Know Your Forms – Make sure you know what forms you will need to properly file your taxes.
• Schedule a Time to File – Whether you are handling your taxes on your own, or working with an accountant, make an appointment on your calendar to get it done. Setting time aside for this specific task will help ensure it gets done.
• Double Check Everything – You don’t want to submit your taxes with incorrect information. Once you’re done with your taxes, go through and double check each line to ensure it is correct.
DO YOU NEED TO AMEND YOUR RETURN
If you have made a mistake on your tax returns, you can go back and fix it. This is done through an amended return. For small math errors, the IRS will likely fix it for you automatically. For other things, however, you’ll want to make the amendment. Things that should trigger an amendment include using the wrong filing status, listing an incorrect total income, and making mistakes related to your deductions or credits.
DON'T HESITATE TO ASK FOR AN EXTENSION
If you find that you are falling behind on getting your taxes ready, make sure to file for an extension with the IRS. This will give you some extra time to get everything together without being penalized with excessive fines or other issues.