Not a credit union member? Not a problem! We can still prepare your taxes!
For more information contact Susan Carrico, Associate Vice President of Business Accounting and Tax, CPA, at email@example.com, (740) 597-2820 or 1 (800) 562-8420 (ext. 72820).
For your Ohio tax refund go to wheresmyrefund
For your federal refund follow these simple steps:
Enter the following information:
Online banking includes a new feature to help you view your completed tax returns. Click on the "Document Cabinet" icon under the "All Services" tab, and you'll be able to view your tax returns right in online banking!
Filing season for your 2015 return begins on Tuesday, Jan. 19th and ends on Monday, April 18th, 2016.
1. Get your receipts and other paperwork compiled and organized
When January comes, you do not want to be looking frantically for receipts from the summer of 2015. Eliminate anxiety by getting organized now. Round up all receipts and cancelled checks, such as those from charities; check your latest brokerage statement for year-to-date gains or losses; make a checklist of accounts to keep track of the Forms 1099s, if any, when they arrive; and get medical receipts and insurance reimbursement forms in order. By doing this, it will be easier to write off business expenses, list charitable deductions and include all expenses that may have otherwise been forgotten.
2. Review any life changes that may have happened within the last year
Don’t wait to figure out how certain life changes – getting married, having children, buying a house or going back to college - will affect your tax status as well as your eligibility for certain tax credits/deductions, you’ll be giving yourself a headache you could easily avoid.
3. Get the full benefit of potential tax deductions
Since tax deductions can lower your overall taxable income, it’s important to know what you could be eligible for. Consider making an extra mortgage payment or even prepay state and real estate taxes before the end of the year to allow for an extra deduction. If you pay your state income tax estimate before December 31 accelerates your federal deduction.
You can also pay property taxes early, make an extra mortgage payment (the interest portion is deductible), or opt to have dental work or elective (deductible) surgery before the end of the year. Using a credit card is the same as using cash—the deduction is taken in the year the charge is incurred, not the year you pay off the credit card balance. Consult your tax advisor and invest the time in preparing a tax projection in order to determine if these tax strategies will be beneficial for you to execute.
4. Figure out what tax credits you could be eligible for
Maybe you thought tax deductions and tax credits are the same thing. They’re not. Unlike tax deductions, tax credits can directly reduce the dollar amount of taxes you may owe to the IRS so it is important to figure out these numbers in advance. If you qualify for $500 in tax credits and owe $1,000 to the IRS, you will only owe the IRS $500. Some of the most common credits include:
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), most commonly used by working people with low to moderate income. To qualify, you must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file. EITC reduces the amount of tax you owe and may give you a refund;
The American Opportunity Tax Credit allows you to claim up to $2,500 on your tax return for the first $4,000 spent on qualified education expenses within the first four years of college;
The Lifetime Learning Credit allows you to claim up to $2,000 for the first $10,000 that’s spent on qualified education expenses like tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, and room and board;
The Child and Dependent Care Credit offers workers a tax credit that helps defray the costs of daycare or babysitting and;
The Savers Tax Credit which allows low-to-moderate income taxpayers who are saving for retirement to claim 50, 20, or 10 percent of the first $2,000 contributed to a retirement account.
5. If you’re planning to donate to charity, do it now
Consider making a few extra donations before the calendar year ends. Remember that charitable contributions must be made to qualified organizations with a 501(c)(3) status. And get and keep the receipt. You’ll need it. Have used household items or clothes you can donate? Give them to a not-for-profit organization. And again, get a receipt! To help estimate the value of your donation you can check out the Salvation Army Guide, IRS Guide or Goodwill Valuation Guide. The total value of noncash items must exceed $500 to one or more charities during the year. Before making a contribution to a charitable organization, check out the IRS online tool (Exempt Organizations Select Check Tool) that simplifies the search for organizations that meet the criteria to be a qualified IRS tax-exempt organization. Contributions must be made by Dec. 31 or postmarked by that date.
6. Consider increasing your contribution to your retirement plans
If you have a 401(k), IRA, or other retirement plans, it may be a good idea to temporarily increase your contribution into them before year’s end. By doing this, it can help lower your taxable income. If you are earning $50,000 a year in taxable income and contribute $5,000 to your IRA and $5,000 to your 401(k) plan, that can drop your taxable income to $40,000, lowering the amount of money that can be taxed.
Some items to remember:
2014 was the beginning of the mandatory health insurance requirement. The penalty for failure to maintain qualifying health insurance shot up this year. The penalty is the greater of $325 for each adult and $162.50 for each child (not to exceed $975) or 2 percent of household income minus the amount of your filing threshold.
For 2015, the personal and dependency exemptions were increased to $4,000. The standard deductions for all filing statuses received a small boost of between $100 and $200 above the 2014 amounts.
The annual health flexible spending account (FSA) contribution limit increased by $50 to $2,550. Remember that the IRS modified the “use it or lose it” policy beginning in 2014 so that the employer, at its discretion, may allow employees to carry over to the following year up to $500 of unused funds in a health FSA account.
CAUTION: The rules governing IRA rollovers have changed. As of 2015, you may make only one IRA-to-IRA rollover per year. This does not limit direct rollovers from trustee to trustee. Any attempted rollover after the first one will be treated as a withdrawal and taxed at regular rates – with potentially a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty.
Don’t fall for the Phony IRS telephone scam. The scam is telling victims they owe money and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license.
For more information on Ohio University Credit Union tax preparation service, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (740) 597-2800.