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MoneyWise Matters is a bi-weekly blog published every other Wednesday by the Office of the Indiana Secretary of State. Here we discuss money related topics including; debt reduction, budgeting, saving strategies, scam alerts, investment fraud prevention and investor insights. You don’t want to miss out on this helpful information, hit subscribe for email updates (above) so you’ll be notified when we publish a new post.
Please note that the statements made in the posts are solely the opinions of the writer and do not represent the opinion and/or position of the Indiana Securities Division. The Division assumes no responsibility for the content presented by the authors.
Tips for Stress-Free Tax Filing
By Kelly Griese
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
For some, filing taxes brings as much excitement as going to the dentist. However, it doesn't have to be that way. The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) wants your tax season to be hassle- and stress-free. Below are 10 tax tips to help you get your filing done quickly and correctly.
Tax Tip 1: Check your return to make sure it is complete.
In order for filings to be processed in a timely matter, you need to ensure all your tax forms are complete. It may be hard to believe, but DOR receives a lot of incomplete tax forms each year.
Tax Tip 2: Use the correct forms.
Submitting incorrect or outdated forms may cause delays in processing or your return to be sent back. All forms have the year at the top, verify the correct year on the form before completing. You can find all up-to-date individual forms online, along with previous year forms if needed.
Tax Tip 3: Send your forms to the right place.
Be sure to send all your state returns to DOR and all federal returns to the IRS.
Tax Tip 4: Is your form legible?
How does your tax form look? Can you clearly read all the information? Be sure to use blue or black ink and to double check any important information, such as Social Security numbers.
Tax Tip 5: Don't duplicate your filing!
Filing more than one return only causes further delays in the return process. For example, if you electronically filed your taxes, do not send a paper form as well.
Tax Tip 6: Include all documentation.
Did you include everything? If you claimed certain deductions or credits that require further documentation, be sure to have all documents in order and included.
Tax Tip 7: Always file a state return.
Whether you are under the threshold or don't expect a return, the best advice is to always file a state return.
Tax Tip 8: Make sure your e-filing was accepted.
Did you know, you can check your filing status online to ensure your e-filing was accepted? This will avoid any further delays in processing.
Tax Tip 9: Save copies of paperwork.
Be sure to make and save copies of all relevant paperwork submitted. You may need to reference them at a later time.
Tax Tip 10: Check everything one more time!
Before officially submitting, it is best to check over all forms and documentation one last time.
Bonus Tax Tip: Use your tax refund wisely
If you're expecting a tax refund check this year, it can be tempting to go on a spending spree. Or, let's face it, we can easily waste a good amount of money entertaining our little ones. Consider giving your refund a chance to grow by depositing it into a 529 account. An upfront lump sum contribution is more likely to benefit from potential market gains over the long-term than smaller recurring contributions. But why stop there? We encourage you to deposit your tax refund and continue to keep on saving throughout the year. Many 529 plans offer affordable monthly contribution limits as low as $25 that can be automatically deposited straight from your checking account. You can learn more about how 529 plans work from a previous blog post, and you and review CollegeChoice 529 plans by visiting their website.
If you need assistance this tax season, the Indiana Department of Revenue is available to help. Call them at 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, or visit the DOR website.
The MoneyWise Matters blog has a wealth of information about managing money and avoiding fraud. You can look through the complete archive here.
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