Yah! It’s that time of the year again where, for a short time, all Americans are united in their distaste for filing these forms that pay for our freedoms. Sure, you can find those who go one step further and believe we shouldn’t pay at all. Most of them live in states where they pay no personal income tax and their educational levels are a testimony to that!! Or better yet, people like the Minnesota snowbirds who live in those above states just long enough (6 months and 1 day) to claim residency but still get all of the services as those who pay our way do. They think themselves clever. The rest of us think otherwise. That’s why they hang around together and share the same political party. But I digress…here we go:
1. Don’t make math mistakes. Consider a pro unless you have a simple return. It’s complicated.
2. Type your return. E file is best, resulting in far fewer audits based on errors.
3. If you’re a high earner, pay for an accountant.
4. If you’re self-employed, provide ample evidence to prove it. Great records are a must!
5. File the correct marital status. Really?
6. Claim the correct number of dependents and exemptions.
7. Fess up about overseas bank accounts.
8. Record the correct cost basis when selling stocks.
9. Don’t lose money on your Schedule C for more than 3 years running.
10. Don’t brag about cheating the IRS. Better yet, don’t cheat. Play by the rules.