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By Caitlin White / Mar 3, 2015

Pre-Tax Filing Moves

Taxes can be a huge pain. But the more you know, the easier it gets. This year, take the steps below before you file 2014 taxes and get the most out of your return.

pre_tax_filing_tips

1. Learn the lingo. Don’t get psyched out by the terms you see on forms. Understanding them from the get-go is your best start.

  • Earned income: Any money that you made through your job, including salary, wages, tips, commissions and bonuses.
  • Unearned income: Income that does not come from employment source, such as alimony or pension income, or income that is related to investments, such as interest on your savings account, capital gains, bond interest or dividends from stock.
  • Gross income: Includes all income, including earned income, unearned income and additional sources of income you received in the form of property, money, goods and services.

2. Beat the buzzer. Have your personal and investment information ready before you begin to file.

  • Birthdays and Social Security numbers.
  • Receipts for deductions.
  • All of your sources of income.
  • Last year’s return.

3. Double-up on deductions. Get an advantage on your return by reducing your overall taxable income. Choose the method that reduces your taxes the most. Remember that only one method can be chosen, and it’s not permissible to deduct these twice.

  • Standard deduction: Take this if you don’t list out your qualified deductions.
  • Itemized deduction: Add up your qualified expenses and keep all records and receipts.

If you have taken the steps above and still need time to file taxes, consider a tax extension. A tax extension will give you six more months to file taxes, moving the deadline forward from April 15th to October 15th.

Access 2014 tax facts that can help you with your returns.

The information contained in this article is intended solely to provide general summary information and is not intended to serve as personalized legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice concerning your situation, please consult your attorney or professional tax advisor. Although care has been taken in preparing this material and presenting it accurately, Transamerica disclaims any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of any material contained herein and any liability with respect to it.

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