First Quarter Financial Plan: Tax Season Basics

posted 2/19/2014 in General

After the celebrations and highlights that come with the holiday season that ended 2013, the beginning of 2014 brings, among other things, the start to tax season. Now, understand that Lincoln Savings Bank is a community bank, not a tax professional or certified public accountant. However, we do want to help our customers understand the basics of tax season because it is a big part of your first quarter finances and your plan. 
When can I file my tax return?
Because of the government shutdown during 2013, the IRS pushed back the start of tax filing season to January 31. If you have all the necessary tax forms and everything already filled out or done electronically, you can still submit before January 31, however it will not be processed until after that date.
How quickly can I get my refund?
The quickest way is to file your taxes electronically and have the money deposited directly into your bank account. This typically takes between 7 and 14 days after filing. If you prefer to have a paper check, it will take about a month for your taxes to be processed and a check to reach you. However, the IRS predicts it will get nine out of ten refunds out within 21 days this year.
Did the government shutdown affect the tax-filing date?
No, you must still have your taxes filed or file for an extension by April 15, 2014.
What forms do I need?
This varies from person to person. Here’s a basic overview of common tax forms:
  • 1040EZ- individuals with income less than $100,000 may qualify for this form
  • 1040A- the best place to start for most taxpayers; for anyone with income under $100,000 who can claim dependents, can use any filing status and can claim adjustments to income
  • 1040 series- the “long form” for individuals covers all possible tax situations; the best option if you’re in doubt
  • Form 1099- reports income from self-employment or freelance earnings, interest and dividends, government payments, and more.
  • Form1098- reports the amount of interest and mortgage-related expenses (like real estate taxes) paid.  Provided by your mortgage lender.
Again, this is a simplistic overview of tax basics. For answers that are more in depth, please consult your personal tax adviser or a tax professional. Lincoln Savings Bank will be testing your tax knowledge later this week with a tax deductibility quiz, so be sure to check back for that!
Lincoln Savings Bank, member FDIC
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