By: Jeff Buonforte, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM
This year taxes are due April 17…two extra days for most taxpayers, but millions of Americans are scrambling to get their taxes in by the due date. In fact, the IRS reports that as many as 25 percent of Americans file taxes during the final two weeks before the deadline. If you’re among this large group, here are some tips to consider before you file.
- Make an additional contribution to your IRA by April 17, 2012 and it will count for the 2011 tax year. Just make sure you specify the contribution is for 2011. Note that the maximum IRA contribution you can make is $5,000 annually ($6,000 if you are age 50 or older).
- If you have eligible education expenses, make sure you claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit. This education tax break provides a credit of up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition and related expenses.
- Did you lose a job or start a new career? Some life events can have a significant tax impact. Check out this IRS page to learn more.
- This may seem obvious, but make sure you affix the correct postage on your envelope. If it’s returned for insufficient postage, you won’t get credit for filing on time.
- If you can’t file your return on time, make sure you file an extension form by April 16, 2012 and include a check for the amount you think you’ll owe. Extension form 4868 effectively stops the clock so the IRS won’t charge you a costly late filing penalty per month.
Lakeland Bank team members are available to offer one-on-one financial counseling to help you plan for 2012. For more information or to set up an appointment, visit lakelandbank.com, call 866-224-1379 or visit any of our office locations.
*Securities are offered through Essex National Securities, Inc., member FINRA & SIPC. Insurance products are offered through Essex National Insurance Agency, Inc. Neither are affiliated with Lakeland Bank.
Products are not guaranteed by the bank, not FDIC insured, not a deposit, not insured by any federal government agency, and we may lose value including loss of principal.