AUGUSTA, Ga. – The April 15 deadline to file your taxes to the Internal Revenue Service is quickly approaching and Georgia Regents University Accounting Professor Joey Styron is offering the following tips to help you maximize your refund.
- File your taxes sooner, rather than later: Don’t wait until the last minute to file. Rushing to meet the deadline will only increase your chances of making an error and you may even overlook possible tax savings.
- Keep good records: Before you file, get organized. Have your W-2s, 1099s, receipts, and any other applicable records, like donations to charitable organizations. Also, review your checkbook, credit card statements, and bank statements and create a list of items that could be considered deductibles.
- Get smart about your filing status. The various filing statuses have different standard deduction amounts and different tax rate schedules. It is important to choose the right filing status for your situation. If you were married as of the end of 2014, then generally you must file as either married filing jointly or married filing separately. It is usually more advantageous to file as married filing jointly. If you were single as of the end of 2014, then your filing status is single, unless you qualify as head of household. Filing as head of household is more advantageous than filing as single. However, to file as head of household, you must provide a home for a qualifying child or other qualifying relative.
- Think about your familial obligations. The expenses resulting from taking care of children or aging parents can be considered deductibles. Although child support is not deductible, alimony is as well as healthcare for the family.
- Do not forget those professional expenses. Another itemized deduction to be considered is job-related expenses. Any out-of-pocket expenses related to your job that is not compensated by your company may be claimed on your income taxes. This is another great way to maximize your refund.
- E-filing: Opting to file your taxes online can save you a lot of hassle. Many software programs will do the calculations for you and some even have audit protection tools built-in, which help you find mistakes before you submit your return.
- Get a jump on the next tax season: Filing your own taxes gives you an inside look into where your money is going. Begin making financial adjustments now so you can increase your chances of getting a larger return next year.
Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally-ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution. http://www.gru.edu