28 THE QUEENS COURIER • MARCH 21, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Life happens: Tax tips for the busiest Americans
As tax season pushes on, millions of
Americans have yet to fi le their taxes.
While reasons for waiting to do so range
from a fear of owing money, to not having
the proper paperwork, take solace in
the fact that if you still haven’t fi led your
taxes, you’re not alone.
In fact, previous research from H&R
Block shows that 57 percent of Americans
say they’ve lost sleep or sacrifi ced free
time on the weekends just so they could
deal with tax preparation.
Regardless of individual reasons for
waiting to fi le, there are ways to ensure
the process goes smoothly, whether you
choose to go it alone, or seek out expert
help. And because 2019 represents the
fi rst tax season under reform, it pays to be
especially diligent this year.
So, what are the options for the busy
Americans who want help with their
taxes, but don’t have the time or fl exibility
to get into a tax offi ce?
Th e nation’s tax professionals oft en
begin with a seemingly simple piece of
advice, which can pay dividends over
time: Get organized now.
Organizing the necessary information
is going to make tax time so much
smoother, no matter how you choose to
undertake it. Get all your important tax
documents together in one place as they
come in. Missing tax documents can lead
to missing out on tax benefi ts you’re entitled
to claim. If you need a little extra help
with documents, hop online. Th e internet
is full of free resources, like the tax prep
checklist on hrblock.com.
For those who don’t want to see the
inside of a tax offi ce, but want the comfort
of expert help, technology again stands as
a strong option.
Karen Orosco is a senior vice president
at H&R Block, and she said technology
can be one of the greatest helps for timecrunched
Americans this tax season.
“H&R Block Tax Pro Go is designed for
clients who want help from a tax expert,
but also want the convenience of not having
to visit a tax offi ce,” Orosco said. “If
you or your tax pro have a question, you
can connect and share additional information
using our secure online portal,
email or even talk on the phone if you
prefer. Th ere’s no offi ce visit, no preparing
your own return, just upload your
documents, sit back and we’ll take care
of the rest.”
Another concern oft en raised by
time-conscious Americans regards the
size of their tax refund, especially under
reform. Th e biggest piece of advice being
given by the nation’s tax professionals this
year is in reference to the W-4.
If you don’t like what happened with
your refund this year, you can take steps
to help see it doesn’t happen next year -
one way is by updating your withholding
with your employer. Tax season presents
a great time to make that update, because
it requires a lot of the same information
that goes on your W-4. It’s also good to
make these updates at the start of the year
so the changes are stretched out over your
paychecks for a longer period.
Orosco also presented another point
for seeing a change in one’s refund:
Individuals may see refund benefi ts by
contributing to a traditional IRA.
“Individuals may potentially increase
their refund or decrease the amount they
owe by contributing to a traditional IRA,”
Orosco said. “You have up until the April
15 deadline to contribute and reap the
potential benefi ts. H&R Block tax professionals
can provide expert guidance
for clients when they fi le their 2018 tax
Th e fi nal piece of important advice may
seem obvious, or even simple, but bears
repeating year over year. Americans need
to keep their life in mind, especially as
large changes like having a child, purchasing
a home or starting a new job can truly
alter one’s tax situation.