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Tax tune-up

May 9, 2016

Contributed by Independent Bank

Hopefully you have successfully checked taxes off your to-do list, but even if 2015 taxes have been filed, the thought of next year’s tax season can still be stressful for all of us. Next year, make filing your 2016 taxes a little easier by using these helpful hints:

Keep track of financial records. In addition to W-2 and 1099 forms, hang on to receipts for donations and anything related to rental property or business income. Additionally, if you think you’ll come close to meeting the 10% of adjusted gross income (AGI) you need to hit to make them deductible, keep your medical receipts, too. Store them all in one place, and use labeled folders.

Know what you can deduct. Look at last year’s return to see what you deducted. This can be a good guide to figuring out what you’re entitled to. Also, check out the IRS website for information on the latest tax breaks. Make a list of questions to take along to your tax provider so you don’t miss out on anything.

Estimate your return and plan ahead. Again, look at your previous year’s taxes to see what you earned and what you were refunded or had to pay. If your situation is virtually the same, it should give you a pretty good indication. If not, use a tax return estimator such as the one found at to get an idea of what you may get back or owe. If you think you might end up owing money, start saving now to relieve some stress later.

Review your return carefully. The IRS recommends taking your time when preparing a return. Whether you do it yourself or rely on a tax preparer, it’s your return, so you’re responsible for the information it contains. Make sure it’s correct.

* Independent Bank is not recommending any specific website or service, and the customer is responsible for researching the privacy and security policies of each individual website to determine if they would like to proceed with its services.

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