Tax Tips for Procrastinators

Apr 04, 2017Reading Time: 3 min

The most overlooked credits and deductions you shouldn’t overlook this year!

The tax filing deadline is almost here. Good news for procrastinators (and you know who you are), this year you have a few extra days to file! Due to the usual April 15th tax filing deadline landing on a Saturday, along with Emancipation Day falling on the following Monday, the tax-filing deadline for this year is Tuesday, April 18, 2017!

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That means you have three extra days to find those overlooked credits and deductions that could result in more money in your pocket! Here are a few of our favorites:

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Some of the biggest and best tax credits are reserved for parents and the Earned Income Tax Credit is the biggest one of them all. This refundable credit is reserved exclusively for working people with low to moderate income levels. This year’s maximum EITC credit is $6,269 for taxpayers with three or more qualifying children, $5,572 for two qualifying children, $3,373 with one qualifying child and there’s even a $506 EITC for qualified applicants with no children.

Of course, there are certain income and investment limits, so speak with your tax professional or check the online EITC fact sheet from TurboTax.

Sales Tax

If you like to shop (and who doesn’t) consider taking a sales tax deduction! If you’ve made some big-ticket purchases this year such as a car, laptop, wedding reception or vacation, you itemize deductions and you’ve paid more more in sales tax than you have in your combined state and local income taxes, this move makes good economic sense. Make sure you keep accurate records and have receipts to back up your purchasing claims, but in the end, this is one deduction that could really prove worthwhile. 

Charitable Donations

It feels great to give to others throughout the year and at tax time, your charitable donations could result in a valuable tax deduction. To claim any charitable deductions, you must itemize your tax return and have contributed money or items to charities recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt non-profit groups, which can include: churches, schools, animal rescue groups and others. Make sure you check the qualifying status of any charity before you donate and ask for a receipt, so you can get a deduction at tax time. 

Job-Seeking Expenses

If you spent all or part of 2016 searching for a new job, you can deduct many of your job-seeking expenses, provided that you were looking for work in your present field of employment. Qualifying expenses include: employment agency fees, resume services and/or printing, travel expenses, tolls and parking incurred during your job search, and even long-distance phone charges. 

Still not ready to file?

Remember, you can file for an extension on your return, but be aware that any money owed to the IRS is still due on April 18, so your tax professional can help estimate any money which may be owed once you file.

According to H&R Block, “If you owe taxes and don’t pay the tax due by the April 18, 2017, you’ll owe interest and if you owe tax, you might also be charged underpayment penalties. When you eventually file your return, be sure to show any payment you paid with the extension. You’ll receive a refund for any tax you overpaid."