4 Last-Minute Tax Tips for the Oct. 15 Extension Filing Deadline

If you filed an extension on your taxes earlier this year, the deadline to finally pay up is fast approaching. Wednesday, October 15th marks 6 months after the traditional April 15th filing deadline. This is when extension filers must file their taxes.

Here are some last-minute tax tips to consider before submitting your tax return to the IRS:

  • Look back on any life changes from 2013: If you had any major life changes in 2013, this may affect your tax-filing status with the IRS. Did you hear wedding bells and get married? Were you served with divorce papers? Did you become a new mom or dad? If any of these major things occurred in your life last year, you could be eligible for more deductions, credits, or even be able to file a joint return with a spouse. All of these could reduce your overall tax bill.
  • Get your receipts in order: Whether or not you are self-employed, it’s important to organize all of your receipts on expenses you incur for basic financial recordkeeping or bookkeeping in a business. In terms of taxes, you may need this information about purchases you made in 2013 in order to claim certain tax deductions on your return. For instance, if you are one of the millions of small business owners out there, you could be eligible for numerous deductions on costs you incur to run your business. These may include the home office deduction, the vehicle deduction, and the meals and entertainment deduction.
  • Remember the simplified home office deduction option: Speaking of the home office deduction, don’t forget about the new simplified method for writing off business costs you incur from working at home. These expenses may include electricity, phone service, or Internet access. The IRS introduced this option in early 2013. It states that self-employed taxpayers can deduct $5 per square foot of home office space for up to 300 square feet. Therefore, the maximum deductible amount is $1,500. This flat-rate deduction method is much easier to calculate since the traditional percentage method involves a great deal of paperwork and documentation of expenditures to prove your write-off to the IRS. However, it’s often worth calculating both options to see which one will save you the most in taxes.
  • Be aware of tax scams: While you might think tax scams are most prevalent around the traditional April 15th deadline, they remain a big problem throughout the year and could affect extension filers who are not filing their taxes with the IRS until October 15th. Be wary of any suspicious phone calls or e-mails you receive from someone claiming to be from the IRS. Also, if you have your taxes prepared by a third party, make sure the person doing this is legitimate.

For more last-minute tax tips before the October 15th deadline for extension filers, work with the accounting professionals at 1-800Accountant. To learn more, call 1-800-222-6868 or visit www.1-800Accountant.

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