Last-Minute Tax Season Tips

With this year’s tax deadline approaching rapidly, you may want to get moving (if you haven’t already). If you have not filed your taxes already, be sure to make a note that you have until April 17th to submit your 2017 return. Also, don’t forget about specialty tax credits.

If you’ve waited until the last minute, here are some tips to get yourself past procrastination.

Specialty Tax Credit Professionals Last-Minute Tips List

Itemize Thoroughly and Correctly

CPAs and specialty tax advisors alike recommend itemizing thoroughly if you are choosing itemization over the standard deduction. Tax experts say that in order to figure out if it is in your best interest to itemize, see if your individual deductions exceed the standard deduction for 2017. The standard deduction for 2017 is $6,350 for single tax filers and $12,700 for married couples filing jointly.

Do not Guess Your Deductions

Be sure to itemize all of your deductions precisely. Do not guess or estimate. Otherwise, you may raise a red flag to the IRS. Also, be sure to leave yourself enough time to go through records, receipts, and figure out exactly how much you spent in different deductible categories.

Be Sure to Report All Your Income

If you receive income from various employers or sources, then be sure to list all of the income that you received. Whether it be freelance work or investments – it all counts. This will help you avoid an IRS audit.

Know About Specialty Tax Credits

Did you know that specialty tax credits are different then tax deductions in that they are a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax liability? This makes them quite significant and valuable. Specialty tax credits like cost segregation, the R&D tax credit, etc. can lower your tax bill and possibly boost your chance of a refund. The tax professionals at Engineered Tax Services can help with these.

Check Your Return for Mistakes

Even if you’ve waited until the last minute, you must check your tax return thoroughly. After all, you do not want your return automatically rejected. Be sure to check for math errors, misspellings, correct filing status, and correct social security number.

You have eight more days to file your tax return. Don’t make it stressful. If you have questions about tax returns or specialty taxes, please call (800) 236-6519.

Tips to Take Advantage of the Home Office Deduction

Are you a business owner who works from home? Do you have a home office that you work from daily? If you do use your home for business, you may be a qualifier for the home office deduction. That means that you can deduct expenses for the business use portion of your home. Whether your own or rent your home, you can qualify for the deduction. Also, if you qualify for the deduction you can use the simplified method or the regular method to claim your deduction. Take a look below to see IRS tips to take advantage of the home office deduction.

Top 6 Home Office Deduction Tips

1.) Must Use Your Home Office Regularly

To take advantage of the home office deduction, you must be using your home office regularly and exclusively for business. Also, the part of your home that you work out of must be:

  1. Your primary business office
  2. The place where you meet with clients or customers

2.) Know The Regular Method

If you choose to use the regular method, the home office deduction will include some costs that you paid for your home. That’s according to the IRS. For example, if you rent, part of your rent may qualify, and if you own your home, part of your mortgage interest, utilities, and taxes may qualify. The amount you can deduct depends on the amount of space you use in your home for business.

3.) Know The Simplified Option

According to the IRS, the simplified option is when you multiply the allowable square footage of your office by a rate of $5.

Also, note that the maximum footage allowed is 300 square feet. This option can save you time because it simplifies figuring out and claiming the deduction. It also makes it easier to keep your records.

4.) Self-Employed Rule

The IRS rules say that if you are self-employed and are choosing the regular method, use form 8829 – Expenses for Business Use of Your Home.

You can claim your deduction using either method on Schedule C.

See the IRS instructions on how to report your deduction.

5.) Deductions May Be Limited

Deductions of some of your expenses may be limited if your gross income from the business is less than your expenses.

6.) Employee

You must meet additional guidelines if you are an employee in this scenario.

For example, your business use must also be for the convenience of your employer. If you qualify, you claim the deduction on Itemized Deductions.

For more information about the home office deduction or specialty tax studies, please call (800) 236-6519.