Tips for filing taxes ahead of approaching deadline

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) – There are only a few days left to file taxes before the April 18 deadline.

For those who are still working up the courage, experts have a few pieces of advice to make the process as painless as possible.

Tax preparer and owner of Mid Michigan Tax and Accounting, Debra Allerding said she’s taken on more clients than ever this year. Her customer base has risen by almost 30 percent, and it’s because people are finding it too difficult to file by themselves.

“You’ll miss credits. You answer all these questions with 90 pages, and yet you owe money, so we have a lot of people that did do their own,” she said. “They’re not comfortable this year.”

Now that COVID has ended, so have the many pandemic-related tax credits is allowed. In addition to the change in W-4 forms, Allerding said it’s a tough year for taxpayers in Michigan.

At this point, Allerding said it’s probably too late for people to find a preparer with time in their schedule for another workload; but, if someone is filing on their own, she said it’s important to look out for potential tax credits, like those for retirement or earned income tax.

“Residential credits. A furnace, a roof, outdoor windows, doors,” she said. “There’s things that people forget.”

Allerding always tells her clients to try for a homestead tax. Even if they don’t catch a break, she said it’s worth it to try.

Contract and freelance workers should be filing their 1099 forms. When they do, Allerding urges them to exercise caution when it comes to deductions.

“People need to realize, not everything is deductible just because you have a business, it must be in that business,” she said. “You use it for that business.”

Many Michiganders have already filed for the year. Molly Medenblik said she and her husband tend to file early to ease tax season anxiety. Normally, they take on the task of filing themselves, but the couple recently bought a new home, so they passed the work off to an expert.

Medenblik said she was surprised to see a return come her way for 2022, but that hasn’t always been the case.

“They did change the W-4 form a couple of years ago, which I think really screwed me up for my taxes for the two years that I did owe,” she said.

Luckily, she has little to worry about this week. For anyone out there feeling nervous about filing, Allerding offers a few words of wisdom.

“Breathe,” she said. “And whatever it is, in the end, it’ll be taken care of.”

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