Monday, April 4, 2016

Saving During Tax Season

Typically recognized on April 15, Tax Day is April 18 this year. Three extra days to prepare your tax returns and find ways to save! Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Find the best means of filing: 

  • For some, preparing and filing your taxes yourself equates to savings. Check out free resources, such as this, for filing tax returns. 
  • If you made under $62,000 last year, you can file your taxes for free. For more information, check out our partner United Way’s website.
  • Not interested in tackling your taxes on your own? Sometimes paying someone to take care of it for you is the most economical option – time, knowledge, and expertise equate to money in this case. 

While it’s an individual preference based on your particular situation, finding the appropriate means of filing your taxes can result in savings this tax season. Do your research and pick the option that works best for you!

2. Stay organized:

Now is the time to think about how you’ll be better prepared for next year’s taxes, and organization is key. Whether you use an inexpensive filing system, such as paper files and hanging folders, or utilizing electronic means such as software or apps, keeping tracking of all the papers and documents required for your taxes can save you a lot of time when tax season rolls around.

For instance, this can help ensure you won’t forget important deductions (did you contribute to any charities?), can provide valuable back-up documentation as needed, and can lead to less stress if you are ever audited. Check out apps such as CamScanner or a program called Shoeboxed to get started. Each of these programs capture images of every receipt and uploads them. The images are then sorted into categories, making tax preparation much easier and more efficient.

3. Recognize valuable deductions:

Whether it’s the philanthropic work you engage in or the monetary donations you make to charitable causes, the time, energy, and money spent on philanthropic activities can be important deductions many individuals fail to take on their tax returns. For instance, the miles you drive your own vehicle related to charitable work or the ingredients you purchase for food items prepared in your own home for volunteer events can be deductions that you don’t want to miss.

In addition, according to experts, another area of significant deductions for saving money is home repair. From energy improvements and home office repairs to home improvement loans and the installation of solar panels, valuable deductions may be right under your roof!
Remember: It’s best to speak with a qualified tax consultant regarding any deductions or do adequate research.

Staying organized, finding the most cost-effective means of tax preparation, and recognizing valuable deductions are all worth your effort and time. With the right knowledge, preparation, and effort, you too can realize significant savings during tax season.

Finally, if you do get a refund check this year, the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card can help you limit how much of your money is spent on prescription medications. If you currently take a medication, download a FREE FamilyWize card here

 Live Healthy. Live Smart.

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