Last minute information on how to handle taxes


Pam Dudding-Burch
Contributing writer

If you’re someone who waits until the very last minute to file your taxes, statistics say that you are among 40 million other Americans who do the same every year.

Tax time is upon us! Some choose to wait until the last week to file. Make sure that you meet the 2018 filing deadline by April 17.

The deadline this year is April 17. “I was determined to file my taxes in March this year but somehow time snuck up on me again,” one local gentleman shared.

There are many opinions as to when to have your taxes completed. Some tax consultants offer “specials” if you file by mid-March, such as deducting the final cost by $50.00.

Kiplinger and other tax financial gurus have some suggestions on how to properly file.

For any company, one must assemble all documents needed to prepare the taxes. For questions as to which ones are correct, online services and Google can easily help with any specific questions.

David Tanner, a five-star Tax Service specialist in Roanoke, shared a few points.

“Always make an appointment with your preparer to have your taxes done,” he said. “I had two people recently walk in, and I was in the middle of another appointment.”

“Also, don’t bring a shoebox full of stuff at the last minute as time is something we don’t have at the end of tax preparation time,” he shared with a smile.

David also suggested arranging your receipts and forms so that when the tax preparer asks questions, you have the necessary information needed to give him.

Some common items needed of most all tax preparers are;

• Last year’s tax return, both state and federal.

• Total amounts of all of the income for 2017 – this includes W-2 and 1099 forms as well as checks received from self-employment.

• Receipts – you can never go wrong by keeping too many receipts. Important ones are charitable donations, mileage records, expenses for your job or even charitable expenses, office expenses, homeowners mortgage interest form (1098). One needs to always check into the deductions for medical as well. Some mileage, overnight and food can be deducted.

• College education savings plan deductions.

• Other receipts can be unreimbursed employee business expenses (union dues, costs of job search), tax preparation from last year, fees for investment managers on taxable accounts.

Kiplinger stresses that an important note for some to remember is to contribute to their 2017 Individual Retirement Accounts and Health Savings Account by April 17. (People under 50 can contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA. Those over 50 can contribute up to $6,500.)

The IRS allows anyone to file for a six-month extension, in order to have enough time to get their exact figures together. However, do know that many people make the mistake of thinking that by filing an extension, they can pay what they owe in taxes at a later date. That’s simply not true. When you file an extension, you have to pay the estimated taxes due by the April deadline, or you will be charged interest.

Tanner specializes in Churches and ministry tax preparation as well personal taxes. His office is at 5007 Carriage Drive, Suite G-1, in Roanoke. He can be reached at (540) 989-3250 or