Filing your taxes early is one of the best ways to protect yourself against tax fraud. In honor of Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week (January 29-February 2) here are some tips to help you prepare to file.
It is MUCH easier to gather all your tax documents the first time than to make a second trip to file an amended return. The IRS projects that about five million taxpayers will file amended returns (IRS.gov). Amended returns take a long time to process! If you’re planning a trip to have your taxes prepared here are some tips to help it go smoothly:
Picture ID: The tax professional will need to verify the identity of everyone listed on the tax return.
Social Security card(s): Typically, you’ll only need to provide this once. Your tax professional will copy it for future use. Tax sites need to see the actual card or ITIN letter.
Last year’s tax return paperwork: Optional. This isn’t a requirement but can be a great reference for this year’s process. Looking over last year’s return in advance may trigger a reminder to bring documentation for itemized medical expenses, charitable giving, work expenses, etc.
Financial Institution Information: Be sure to have the correct routing number and account number(s) for your direct deposit return. Use form 8888 to split your refund and save part of it in a savings account. If you choose this option, you can go to www.saveyourrefund.com and enter to win one of 100, $100 prizes-just for saving money!
Expert Tip: If you make $54,000 or less, save more money by getting your taxes prepared for FREE by local IRS-certified volunteers at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site in your area! VITA Site Search.
10 Tips from the IRS