NEW YORK (CBS 2) — If you haven’t started your taxes, it’s not too late; you still have plenty of time. Kelli Grant from SmartMoney.com joins CBS 2 in studio to provide some helpful advice.
Don’t put off the inevitable. The last-minute tax bill has pushed everything back this year, and preparers don’t like to run late. Many will cut rates by 20 percent or more if you hand in your paperwork by the end of February. Rates for using online software tend to go up then, too.
Don’t wait on forms:
Used to be, you could count on the IRS sending you the paper forms you needed, but the agency is eliminating that service this year. If you want to file your return by paper, you can print the forms online, or try your local library, post office or IRS office for copies.
Look for discounts:
Credit card issuers and banks are offering discounts toward online tax prep. You might get an email, or a snail mail pitch. Some banks are also putting links in your online statements. And of course, there are coupon codes. Discounts are up to 50 percent, which can yield substantial savings once you factor in preparation and filing costs for both federal and state returns.
Check the app:
If you’re expecting a refund and have a smartphone, there’s now a tax refund app that tells you the status of your return. By the time you set it up, it’s only a step or two short of actually checking your email and bank account, but it’s a nice perk for people waiting on a tantalizingly big return.
Pay with caution:
Resist the urge to pay via credit card. Rates have gone up substantially in the past year, thanks o the new credit card legislation. Coupled with the 2 to 3 percent transaction fee you’ll pay for using plastic that makes a tax bill much scarier.