Procrastinators had best hurry in order to file their federal and state income tax returns on time. Taxes are due April 15.
While some filers opt for the standard deduction, others are able to lessen their tax burden by itemizing deductions. H&R Block Senior Tax Advisor Michelle Bachtel says while it’s important to keep thorough records in order to support deductions, you may still be able to itemize even if your record keeping isn’t the best. She says some things such as mortgage interest, property taxes, withholding taxes and such can be recreated or proven with canceled checks. Other types of deductions for things like medical mileage and unreimbursed work expenses need to be documented more thoroughly.
“I usually recommend a notebook or something smaller that fits in the glove box or console of your car. Be sure to write down the date, the mileage and the reason for the visit,” Bachtel says.
She also recommends cross-referencing information with medical invoices to further support your claim.
“Even though your preparer may not ask you for receipts, the burden of proof always falls on the taxpayer. If the IRS questions your claim, you do need to be able to quickly give them the information they are looking for,” Bachtel adds.
Visit www.IRS.gov for more information about federal income tax filing.