Tax return

Filing Your Tax Return: 2015 Tips & Tricks

Tax return

Cary, NC — Ready or not, it’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about filing your 2014 tax return. Becca Smith, Director of Marketing for Smith & Smith, CPA, gives some important dates and great advice to CaryCitizen readers. 

Ready or Not, Here We File!

Here are some important dates to remember when filing your 2014 tax returns:

  1. Corporate Tax Return Filing Date – Monday, March 16, 2015
  2. Personal Tax & Partnership Tax Return Filing Date – Wednesday, April 15, 2015
  3. Corporate & Partnership Tax Return Extended Filing Date – Tuesday, September 15, 2015
  4. Personal Tax Return Extended Filing Date – Thursday, October 15, 2015

An Important Note

Extensions are due by the original date of filing. Many people misunderstand the purpose of an extension–an extension is simply an extended period of time to file, not to pay. So, if you owe the IRS, make sure you get in a payment to avoid a penalty and then complete your return by the extension deadline.

Here are a few other simple tips to keep in mind as you prepare your tax papers.  

Plan Ahead

Hopefully, you have a general idea of what your 2014 year looked like, and you know what companies and organizations will be sending you important tax documents. Keep a list and check them off as they arrive. Also, remember to include your cash & non-cash contributions and have the correct documentation recorded.

Don’t forget to have your healthcare selection done by the deadline of February 15, 2015.


Most people have started to receiving their W-2, 1099, and other important tax documents. Go ahead and open them from their envelopes, discard any unnecessary papers, and keep your items together in a file folder or envelope in one place. This way, you will know where all of your items are, and they’ll be easy to find when you are ready to file.

Most CPAs and accountants are going to want you to add up all of those little receipts and expenses that you have kept over the past year. You keep the receipts for your records and take the totals to your tax preparer.

Don’t Spend to Save

How can I save money on my taxes? Should I buy this to save on that? We get those questions all the time. We tell our clients not to spend a dollar to save a quarter.

Review and Sign Your Tax Return

It is your tax return, after all; make sure you review it in detail, double check social security numbers, name spelling, bank account numbers, and contact information. Remember to sign your return! The IRS will not accept a return that has not been signed. It is your return, so make sure you know what is on it and that it has been completed to your approval.

Hire a Professional; Enjoy Your Weekends

Do you hate filing your taxes and stress about having them filled out properly? Do you hate spending your weekends and late nights working on the tax return when you could be watching the big game or spending time with your family?

Find a professional, and hire them to do it for you. Focus on doing what you do best and spending your time wisely. It will be money well spent!

Regardless of how you handle filing your 2014 tax return, make sure you give yourself (and your tax preparer, if you hire one) plenty of time. Nothing is worse then waiting to the last minute and losing precious sleep at night!


Story by Becca Smith of Smith & Smith, CPA in Cary. Photo by Chris Potter.

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