The midnight rush to get your taxes filed by April 15th is going to be heavier than usual this year, as up to 25% of taxpayers are estimated to wait until the final two weeks to take care of this annual headache.
But according to Yahoo!'s Farnoosh Torabi, host of Financially Fit and author of Psych Yourself Rich, taking advantage of a few simple tips and "investing in professional assistance" can more than pay for itself. For this installment of Investing 101, we outline five last minute tax tips that are frequently overlooked but can make the difference between getting a refund and writing a check.
1) Keep Records for All Charitable Activity
Writing a check to the Red Cross may be "an obvious deduction" but Torabi says there are lots of quirky costs involved in giving that aren't so clear cut. For example, she says be sure to keep track of things like "the mileage you use driving from charity to charity" or the cost of the "the ingredients you purchased" to make meals for the local soup kitchen. The point is, it's not just about giving money when it comes to making this deduction work for you, it's also about first rate record keeping.
2) Avoid Obvious Audit Red Flags
While Torabi says under-reported income is one of the most common traps tax filers fall into, there are others. For example, she says "the IRS actually has an equation to kind of base you against the average charitable deduction in your tax bracket."Read More »from 5 Last Minute Tax Tips That Are Often Overlooked