Taxes can be a burden. As a truck driver you are on the road most of the week. When you are finally home, you don’t want to sit down and try to figure out your income and expenses for the past year. But you have to do it or you risk some potentially hefty fines from the IRS. So when they are done, it’s easy to just sigh and toss everything aside until next year. But your job isn’t done yet! You have the hard stuff out of the way, now there are a few more loose ends to wrap up.
Also read: Tips for Taxpayers Who Missed the Tax Deadline
Save Those Files
If you use an accountant they are legally obligated to save your files for at least 7 years. But for your own records, there is no reason to toss them even after that long. Most of us file our taxes electronically; that means the tax program you use automatically generates all of the paperwork needed. Just tuck those files away on your computer, and you can keep them forever without the clutter.
The reason for keeping your files, especially for a few weeks after you file, is that sometimes mistakes happen. The IRS may lose your return, the electronic transmission might not go through, or something else could happen. You want to be able to easily access your information, and re-file if necessary. Keep in mind too that the IRS could audit you several years down the road.
Make Payments by April 15th
If you owe money on your taxes, then you have to pay by April 15th; even if you have filed for an extension. Going past that date may cause you to owe penalties and interest to the IRS. Fortunately, there are methods to do this.
The IRS allows you to set up a payment plan if you absolutely cannot afford what you owe all at once. This is often the case; you just don’t have the cash on hand to pay off your tax bill in full. You may have some small interest charges that accumulate, but at least you avoid penalties.
Since we are in the digital age, the IRS allows you to pay your taxes with a credit card. There is a fee involved for the various processing methods, but most are a little under 2%. This means if you have a rewards credit card that gives you 2% cash back or more, you can actually make money by paying your taxes with a card.
Check on Your Return
If you filed your taxes already, the easiest way to make sure that everything has gone through properly is to check on your return. Here is what to look for.
If you filed electronically, you should receive an email within a few days of submitting your tax return. This email will be from the IRS and simply indicate if your return was accepted or not (most of the time it is; this isn’t an audit but more of an electronic notification that the IRS received your tax return). 24 hours later you can log on to the IRS’s Where’s My Refund site, and plug in your information. This will tell you when you can expect to see your refund show up in your bank account, or when you can expect to see a check if you requested a paper check.
If for some reason you keep checking on your refund, and you keep receiving an error message (or a message that says you must wait 24 hours after your refund is accepted), then it is a sign that something has gone wrong. Double-check your filing with your accountant or however you prepared your taxes.
Taxes and Driving Truck
Since you are often on the road, you don’t have time to sit down and chase after your taxes. So before you just toss everything aside, make sure all is in order so you can easily check to see if your taxes were accepted. On the road a few phone calls can be easy to make; scrounging for paperwork and logging onto websites are not as easy.
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