Tax Tackling Tips

According to CNBC, 13% of Americans would rather go to jail than do their taxes. While you may not feel as strongly, there is a good chance that there are plenty of things you’d rather spend your time doing than taxes this season. Use these tips before filing this season to help you maximize your time and return.

Get Organized

Keeping all of our important tax documents in one place will make a world of difference the day you do your taxes. Create a designated folder on your desktop for digital receipts and documents and a physical folder for paper copies. Trust us that your taxman (or woman) will thank you when you come organized. If you’re doing your own taxes then you’ll save yourself the hassle of searching for what you need.

Get What you Need from Work

By now your 2016 employers should have sent your W-2 or other documents you need. If you have not received the proper documents contact your employer as soon as possible. If you have contacted employers and received no reply then it might be time to contact the IRS. USA Today has helpful steps for how to handle not receiving your proper documents this tax season.

File Early

While the deadline to file your taxes is not until April 15, 2017 it is useful to file early. There are several reasons that filing early is beneficial whether you are getting money back or have taxes you owe. Filing early will guarantee you get your return earlier, as it generally takes two to three weeks for your refund to process and receive money. If you file and it turns out you owe then you’ll have additional time to pay off the money owed. TurboTax, online tax prep software, has additional benefits to filing early.

It may be a frustrating season, but using these tips could help ease your mind!

Insuring Valentine’s Valuables

With the 2017 Grammys behind us and Valentine’s Day just two days later plenty of people will have new bling this week. According to Property Casualty Insurers, more than $19 billion was spent on valuables last year on Valentine’s Day in 2016. That’s more than ever before! While your standard homeowners insurance policy may include coverage for these valuable it may only be covered by losses caused by perils included in your policy unless you purchase additional coverage. By “scheduling†items (listing them in your policy individually with values) you can ensure your items are covered for additional protections and increased limits of value.

Some items that may be considered valuables include jewelry, fine art, fire arms, musical instruments, cameras, silverware, collectibles, and furs. 

In order to schedule valuables at the proper value it is recommended that you take the following steps:

  • Take inventory of items of value.
  • Obtain an appraisal for significant items. This may require going to a specialist to determine the proper value.
  • If the item was recently purchased, a bill of sale will likely be accepted as the appraised value, depending on the type of valuable.
  • Submit appraisals to your homeowners insurance agent to discuss additional coverage options for theses specific items.

The PCI also had great tips for protecting your valuable purchases including:

  • Taking pictures of the items
  • Only bringing jewelry you plan to wear when traveling
  • Regularly inspecting jewelry
  • Keeping your valuables in a secure place

Don’t be caught in a situation of loss without enough coverage to get the value of your items! Happy Valentine’s Day!