Tax tips: local CPA gives advice on filing taxes - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Tax tips: local CPA gives advice on filing taxes

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
(KXXV) -

It's the most wonderful time of the year for some people -- income tax time -- but not knowing what to file or how could result in tax problems.

Brinn Serbanic is a certified public accountant and certified financial planner at BDK, and she said keeping track of what you do during the year could help you when it's time to file taxes.

"I would recommend a CPA if you have any complexity issues at all, or if you don't feel confident in filing your own tax returns, or if you even don't feel like spending a Saturday working on your taxes," Serbanic said. "Ensure that CPA has all of the information about your personal situation, as well as bring any documents you receive in the mail." 

But for those who want to file their own taxes, here's a break down of other things Serbanic said you may  want to consider while filing your taxes this year:

1. Forms for counting income

2. What to consider for counting expenses

  • these forms do not come in the mail, they come for the client
  • business expenses if you are self-employed (could include auto millage if you drive for business purposes)
  • itemized deductions like
    • medical expenses
    • sales tax if you bought a car or boat during the past year
    • property taxes and the date you paid them
    • mortgage interest

3. Claiming charitable deductions

  • a single donation less than $250 does not require a written receipt from the charity
  • donations lager than $250 require a written acknowledgment from the charitable organization
  • only 501(c)3 organizations can be claimed on taxes
  • the IRS website has a list or organizations that can be claimed on taxes, the charity should also be able to tell you

4. Purchasing or selling a home

5. Filling for college students or their parents

  • 1098-T form for the university or vocational school
  • receipts from the purchase of textbooks, computers, calculators, or other big-ticket school supplies
  • college students could qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit
  • college students could add up to $2500 to the tax refund amount

6. Social security or unemployment benefits recipients

  • people who receive social social security benefits should receive a 1099-SSA form that lists benefits received or medicare premiums paid
  • 0-85% of social security benefits could be taxable
  • people who receive unemployment should get a 1099-G form in the mail

7. Life events

  • Moving to a new city for your job, having a child, or starting to support an elderly parent can all be deducted

The last day to file your tax return is April 18, and it must be filed by midnight.

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