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For The Love Of Money: Last Minute Tax Tips

April 10, 2009

It’s 4:00am and yes, I am awake. Why? It’s tax season! Whether you’ve chosen to prepare your own taxes or gone with the services of a tax pro, you can never have too many good tips on hand. Read below as I re-post one of my most popular articles…Last Minute Tax Tips!

LAST MINUTE TAX TIPS from Shannon Nash, Esq., CPA
If you’re one of those people who have not filed income taxes already, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. Each year people put off number-crunching to the last minute for any and every reason possible. The good news is that there’s still a little time left.

To help take advantage of your remaining time, tax attorney and CPA Shannon Nash, author of For the Love of Money: The 411 To Taking Control of Your Taxes and Building Your Net Worth, offers the following friendly advice:

* File! File! File! One of the main reasons people put off filing their taxes is that they think they are going to owe money. But that’s still no reason not to file.

“You always, always, always file, even if you cannot pay. No matter what,” explains Nash, CEO of the Nash Management Group in L.A. and Atlanta. ”If you don’t pay and you don’t file, the penalties add up. The IRS will find you, and it will be painful when they do.”

If you do have to pay back money to Uncle Sam, remember that you can pay the amount in installments. Just fill out the Installment Agreement Request Form 9465 and mail it with your tax return. Forms can be obtained from the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov.

* Be Prepared. Don’t wait until the tax deadline to muster up a year’s worth of information. Nash advises tax payers to “gather credit card statements and receipts ahead of time and place them in a tax organizer or an accordion folder to make filing easier.”

* Make The Miles Count. When itemizing your taxes, don’t forget to include your car miles if eligible.

“You can deduct anywhere from 14 cents a mile to 50.5 cents a mile, depending on the type of mileage deduction,” says Nash. The different mileage deductions include: charitable miles (miles driven when you volunteer services for a charitable organization), medical miles (miles accumulated for medical treatments), moving miles (miles driven when moving from one city to another for a job) and business miles (miles driven for business meetings or errands).

* Request More Time. If you absolutely cannot get your taxes completed by the April 15 deadline, Nash suggests that you file for an extension with the Application For Automatic Extension Form 4868. Instead of rushing and making errors, the extension gives you until October 15 to complete your taxes.

* Break The Cycle! “Taxes should not freak you out,” insists Nash. “Get into the habit of collecting receipts now.”

And for people who have complicated taxes, “See your tax preparer again in September or October,” suggests Nash. It’s a great time to do tax planning where you can take advantage of deductions you will be happy with.

Five Signs It’s Time to Get Help from a Tax Professional
Seek assistance if you find yourself in any of the following situations:

  • You don’t know which deductions you should be taking as a small-business owner.
  • You’re finding yourself stressed and overwhelmed when trying to file your business taxes.
  • You have significant capital gains from stocks, selling a business or commercial real estate.
  • You have income from several sources, such as consulting, royalties, rental income, interests in businesses, or stocks and bonds.
  • You earn money in both the United States and another country.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 10, 2009 12:15 pm

    Hello. I was reading someone elses blog and saw you on their blogroll. Would you be interested in exchanging blog roll links? If so, feel free to email me.

    Thanks.

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