Tax Tips for the Weekend Tax Warrior

Upset man clutching paperworkAre you the type to get your taxes done early, or do you create a whirlwind of forms and receipts around you the day before the tax deadline? Image: Ethan Myerson/Vetta/Getty Images

Filing at the 11th hour? In your haste, don’t forget all the ways your home helps you save on taxes.

I’ve got this time-tested strategy for preparing my taxes: I wait until the day before they’re due, then I run around the house like a mini-cyclone, sucking up 1099s and receipts and stray worksheets while important papers flutter to the ground in my wake.

Hey, I didn’t say it was a good strategy, but it’s one that I have a lot of experience with.

Hopefully, you’re far better organized, which is one of the best ways to avoid mistakes and get every bit of the tax refund you deserve.

But if you’re going to be buried in taxes this weekend, we’ve got some great advice:

  • Your home office, no matter how modest, may provide some tax relief. You’ll want to take full advantage of the home office deductions available to you.
  • If you’ve made home improvements for medical reasons, those modifications might qualify for a tax deduction. Review IRS Publication 502, “Medical and Dental Expenses.”
  • Your mortgage interest deduction can be a nice chunk of change. In fact, we’ve got some creative ideas for spending your savings from your mortgage interest deduction that are sure to get you dreaming.
  • If you’re face-palming over the fact that you could have claimed some of these items in recent years, take heart. Here’s how to amend your return.

Next year? I’m taking all this good advice — only a lot earlier!

How about you? Are you all done, or will you be a weekend tax warrior?