A millennial’s guide to navigating tax time.
We are dropping tax-related knowledge three times in the coming days (yuck, taxes). This is the first one. The next one will help clarify the difference between Deductions and Credits and why they are important. We will wrap up with a post focused specifically on making charitable giving and taxes easy as can be. Spoiler alert on #3, a Modern Giving account goes a long way in making tax time super easy...but we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Filing tax returns are lame and complicated and stuffy and confusing. There’s tons of free and great advice out there but sorting through it all is tedious and time-consuming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. We took a spin around some recently posted articles to bring you some modern tax advice. Articles from our friends at Charity Navigator, SoFi, and Forbes particularly jumped out as some of the more accessible and focused on the complexities that young professionals often face.
Tax filing day is actually April 18th this year! Due to the powers that be and how holidays fall, particularly the little known Emancipation Day, tax filings are due April 18th, 2017. Woohoo a few extra days to get things in order!
You can potentially deduct expenses and costs associated with a job search! The following costs can be claimed as a deduction: business travel expenses that you incur, fees that you pay to an employment agency, and dry cleaning and resume copies to make sure that you’re fresh and clean and crisp for that interview. Additionally, if you move more than 50 miles from your previous job for a new gig, boom, you may be able to claim those costs back.
Costs related to student loans and education can be claimed as well! Up to $2,500 of student loan interest can be claimed if you make less than $80k/year ($160k for married couples). There is also something called Lifetime Learning Credits. If you’re taking courses to power-up your skills or are paying for classes towards earning a degree, you might be eligible for $2,000 in credits!
The Savers Credit! The Lifetime Learning Credits’ cousin is the Savers Credit. According to Dave Prokupek, CEO of Jackson Hewitt (they help people file their taxes), the Savers Credit is “a tax credit of up to $1,000 for putting money into an IRA or an employer’s 401(k)”. Giddy-up - both saving and getting a tax break! Folks who make less than $45,000 are eligible.
File for Free! If your income is below $64,000 there are several ways to file. Check out the options here.
Get your refund direct deposited! The fastest way to get your refund is to have it direct deposited in your account. And then set aside a few dollars for charitable giving and be a changemaker!
And what about those charitable donations?
That post is coming soon, keep an eye out for it. That post will really help illuminate how our product helps come tax time, but in the meantime, If you want one of these awesome Modern Giving accounts, you have a few options. We prefer to partner with awesome companies and bring them to their employees as a new perk/benefit. Have your HR/Benefits reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your company started.
Alternatively you can open an account with our launch partner, the Austin Community Foundation. It actually doesn’t actually matter if you live in Austin, you can still get all of the benefits AND you and can donate to any charity that you want. Woo hoo.!
Pinkaloo Technologies LLC does not provide tax or legal advice. Each of us have unique circumstances and we suggest that you work with a qualified tax advisor for your specific situation.