Tax season has almost come to an end with the filing deadline Tuesday.

Many have already filed their taxes since filing began at the end of January, but some may still be waiting until the last minute.

Mary Grace Keller of Darrell L. Keller CPA in Kings Mountain offers the following tips for people filing their taxes last minute:

1. Keep the prior year’s forms on hand

Keller said it is always a good idea to have a copy of last year’s taxes on hand when filing just before the deadline. Having taxes from the prior year can help guide you as you file for the current year.

According to Keller, last year’s taxes can be a good reminder of what you need to file again this year or remind you of changes in your life that would lead to changes in what you need to file.

“Generally if you’re doing it yourself, things don’t change a lot from year to year,” Keller said. “If they did change, make sure you’re thinking about that.”

2. Pay attention to potential audit flags

There are certain red flags that are said to make you more likely to be audited. Keller said those things include home offices, excessive contributions and an excessive amount of earned income credits.

She suggests people rushing to file taxes just before the deadline proceed with caution and strive for accuracy, especially in areas related to these potential red flags.

3. Going to a tax preparer? Have everything in order

Coming in at the last minute with a mess of papers in a shoebox makes it difficult for a CPA to prepare your taxes.

“Make sure you have it all in order and sure you have everything you’re going to need,” Keller said.

Tax preparers will have to turn taxes around quickly when the deadline is just around the corner, which means having all the proper paperwork accounted for is key to getting the job done on time so they will not have to request an extension.

4. Next year, dont wait

Keller said it is always better to file well before the April deadline.

“If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on (your taxes) and you’re trying to get it done before the deadline, you’re more likely to make a mistake on it,” she said.

Preparing early also makes it easier to line up and appointment with a CPA if you are getting help with your taxes.

 

Casey White can be reached at 704-669-3339 or cwhite@shelbystar.com.