The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial or tax advice.

What You Need to Know for the 2015 Tax Season

 accountnow prepaid debit cards blog 2015 tax return advice tips

Some important dates for your 2014 taxes:

  • January 20, 2015: First day to e-file taxes. IRS begins to process tax returns e-filed and filed on paper.  Many software companies will allow you to complete your return prior to this date. Please check with your software provider.
  • January 31, 2015: By the last day of January, you should have a W-2 wage & tax form from each employer for whom you worked in 2014. If you haven’t received your documents by then, contact the HR or payroll departments to track them down.
  • April 15, 2015: Tax Day! This is the last day to file your state and federal 2014 taxes (for most states), and the last day to file for an extension. Just a reminder – your taxes must be paid by this day even if you file an extension to file your return at a later date.
  • October 15, 2015: This is the absolute last day to file 2014 taxes, if you were granted an extension (the deadline for the request to be made is April 15).
  • April 15, 2018: If you filed your return by April 15, 2015, this is the deadline to file an amendment to your 2014 tax return. If you had filed an extension, the deadline is October 15, 2018.

Tax benefit inflation adjustments

The IRS has increased the value of many deductions and exemptions–great news for you, the taxpayer. Here are the increases you can look for:

  • Personal and dependent exemptions: $3,950
  • Standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly: $12,400
  • Standard deduction for heads of household: $9,100
  • Standard deduction for individuals and married taxpayers filing separately: $6,200
  • Health Savings Account deductible for families: $6,550
  • Health Savings Account deductible for individuals: $3,300
  • Maximum earned income tax credit: $6,143
  • Maximum income limit for earned income tax credit: $52,427
  • Lifetime learning credit phases out at $108,000 in adjusted gross income for joint filers, $54,000 for individuals and heads of household
  • Foreign earned income deduction: $99,200
  • Estate and gift tax exclusion: $5.34 million

Tax increases & deductions

Medical and dental expenses:

You can deduct medical and dental expenses that exceed a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income (AGI). If you’re under 65, you can deduct expenses that exceed 10% of your AGI. If you’re 65 or older, you can deduct expenses that exceed 7.5% of your AGI. Note that you can deduct only the amount of your expenses that are over and above that percentage. For example, if you’re 40 years old and your AGI is $50,000, you can deduct expenses that exceed $5,000. If you had $6,000 of expenses, you can deduct $1,000–not $6,000. Deductible medical and dental expenses are those expenses that are not covered by insurance and that you pay yourself, but include insurance premiums that you pay.

The Affordable Care Act:

Otherwise known as “Obamacare” or ACA, the Affordable Care Act might affect your taxes starting in 2014. If you didn’t have health insurance in 2014 (or meet specific criteria), you have to pay a tax of one percent of your taxable income or a flat fee ($95 per uninsured adult and $47.50 per uninsured child (up to $285 per family), whichever is higher. If you don’t have insurance in 2015, the flat fee increases to $325, and then to $695 in 2016.

Self-employed taxpayers:

If you’re self-employed, you can now use a simplified option for home-office deduction. For every square foot of home office space you use (up to 300 square feet), you can deduct $5 per square foot, rather than calculating all of your expenses. Not new for 2015, but good to know.

Getting a refund this year? For a chance to triple your refund up to $15,000, direct deposit your federal or state tax refund to an AccountNow card by April 30, 2015. (Need one? Get an AccountNow card now.) It’s easy to direct deposit your tax refund to your AccountNow card. Call us today to learn more–toll free (866) 925-2036.