3 Reasons to Get a Head Start on Your Taxes
Life + Money

3 Reasons to Get a Head Start on Your Taxes

The rule this year for filing your 2014 taxes is simple:  Do it early. 

If you haven’t received all the forms you need to file, you can download them from IRS.gov. But before you go through the tortuous process of counting every donation to charity, there are three things you should know to avoid a last minute scramble before April 15th.

Related: Taxes 2014: 10 Apps to Make Filing Easier

1. Tax season will start on time this year. During the past two years, the fiscal cliff and the affordable care act delayed the onset of tax filing season until the end of January, but not this year.

The Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting tax returns electronically and processing paper tax returns on Jan. 20. If you’re due for a return, you’ll get to spend it earlier.

2. The Affordable Care Act will make filing taxes more complicated this year. The ACA, which requires all individuals to have health insurance, will affect most people’s 2014 taxes and refund, which means taxpayers need to be informed as much as possible. There is good information on IRS.gov here. And here

Also, H&R Block is holding a nationwide free question and answer day on Thursday from 9 am until 9 pm. No appointment is necessary. It will provide each consumer with a personalized ACA tax impact analysis, a tailored review of how the ACA might impact their tax return and potentially their refund.

Related: The 10 Worst States for Taxes in 2014

3. You can file your taxes from your phone. Both H&R Block and Intuit’s TurboTax offer apps to help you electronically file you taxes. The TurboTax app has generally received better reviews, thanks to allowing users to also work offline.  It also has more features.

However, there were some complaints from ConsumerWorld.org this week regarding extra charges imposed by TurboTax for use of certain forms that the company was not up front about.

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