It's Tax Time!

Tax day, April 17, 2018, is just around the corner. Whether you plan to complete them in a weekend or are pulling together the information to give to your tax preparer, here are a few tips to get started.

Be Prepared

  • Create a tax checklist to gather all of the documents you'll need.
  • Download the latest catalog of forms and publications from or have it mailed to you.
  • Most tax software programs will allow you to input your information early. Start filling in your information now, so that you're not rushing to complete it in April.
  • If you have dependents, make sure you know their Social Security numbers so that your return isn't delayed. If you are divorced, decide which parent will claim the children beforehand to prevent an audit or delay.
  • You may have until April 17, 2018 to contribute to your traditional and Roth IRA for 2017. Check the IRS for specific contribution information.

Expecting a Refund? Plan ahead to Avoid Delays

Create a file for all of your forms.

Keep a copy of your previous year's tax return.

Choose to e-file your taxes.

Get your refund earlier by choosing direct deposit.

4 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft This Season

1. Watch your mailbox. When income tax forms start coming in the mail, a potential ID thief can easily gain access to personal information.

2. Destroy Sensitive Material. Use a confetti paper shredder to ensure that your documents are properly destroyed.

3. Choose the Right Tax People. Beware of companies that hire seasonal workers with minimal training.

4. Be careful Online. If you plan to use an online tax service, ensure the site is reputable.