Just hearing the words “tax season” can make your pulse race and tie your stomach in knots—but it really isn’t as bad as you think it is.
Tax season officially begins Jan. 27, and as the W-2s and other forms start rolling in, millions of households will begin calculating their annual returns. Although more than half of U.S. adults find filing taxes stressful, surveys suggest it’s mostly in our heads.
According to The Motley Fool, most of the stress around tax season boils down to feeling unprepared or ill equipped to handle filing a tax return. The good news is that there are plenty of tools and strategies that can help make the process easier—and if you’re an OCCU member, you’re better off than most. Here’s a look at some of our member benefits that can help ease your tax burden this year.
Save on filing your taxes
Few tools make filing your taxes easier than TurboTax, which walks you through the process step by step and translates complex tax forms into simple questions about your life. With automatic error checks and the ability to search more than 350 deductions and credits, TurboTax helps eliminate the potential for errors while maximizing your refund.
To help our members get the most possible money back from their taxes, OCCU has teamed up with TurboTax to offer savings of up to $15 on federal filing products. That means less stress during tax season and less money spent preparing and filing your forms.
Get a bigger refund
Want a bigger tax refund this year? By contributing to an individual retirement account (IRA), OCCU members can potentially reduce their taxable income.* Eligible members may contribute up to $6,000 (or $7,000 if 50 or older) to a traditional IRA and may be able to claim all or part of contributions on their taxes. Here’s the kicker: You have through April 15 to make contributions for the 2019 tax year, so there’s still time to take advantage of this tax benefit.
Not only can a traditional IRA offer short-term tax benefits, but it will also help you build more retirement savings for the future.
Enjoy the mortgage tax advantage
If you own a home or plan on becoming a homeowner soon, your OCCU mortgage can help offset your tax burden and give your refund a boost. Mortgages come with federal tax benefits, such as the potential ability to deduct:
- Some of the interest you’ve paid on your home loan
- State or local property taxes paid on your home
- Private mortgage insurance costs
Get more mileage from your refund
Once you’ve maximized your tax refund, you’ll need to decide what to do with your financial windfall. You can use this as an opportunity to sit down and determine the best strategy for using your refund to advance your financial goals. Whether you use it to build up your emergency fund, pay off debts, or invest in a compound interest-earning account, you can put a plan in place to get the most possible mileage from your tax refund.
When it comes to filing your taxes, OCCU has you covered. Here’s to less stress this tax season!
*Note: The above information is not intended as tax advice. Please consult your tax professional for tax information.