April 15 will be here before we know it. That means now is the time to prepare for filing your taxes.

Pamela Cotton, the vice president of member services at Austin Telco Federal Credit Union, joined Studio 512 Host Rosie Newberry to share some tips on how you can best prepare to maximize your return.

What should someone do to prepare for tax season?

Gather documents as soon as they are available:

  • Gather the necessary forms you will need to file your taxes for example forms like your W-2 if you’re employed or forms such as 1099’s if your retired, forms for interest paid on your mortgage loan, dividends earned, and if you’re a student, you will need to gather forms like your 1098’s. When you have these forms, try to file your taxes as soon as possible.
  • Austin Telco has an option for e-statements to make gathering forms easier. We will notify you when your documents are available to view and print through online banking.
  • Consider adjusting your withholding for the upcoming year – if you owed taxes or received a large refund when you filed, adjustments can help you avoid a tax bill or let you keep more money throughout the year. ATFCU has a Marginal Tax Rate Calculator available on our site. This can help estimate your tax liability, average tax rate, and tax bracket.

What are some things we should look out for or be cautious of during tax season?

“It is very important to protect your information. Tax season is a busy time for scammers. Beware of scammers impersonating IRS personnel to gain your trust. They will try to use scare tactics to gather information like your social security number, account information, or credit card information. Be sure to use a reputable tax preparer, company, or website if you self-prep before providing your personal information.”

What are some ways to get your tax refund faster?

“Consider e-filing because it is faster than mailing your tax return paperwork. It also helps protect your information like your SSN and other sensitive information because you avoid the possibility of your tax documents being intercepted or lost in the mail. Try finding a reputable software to prepare your taxes whether it is self-prepared. Choose the direct deposit option for the delivery of your tax refund. This is the fastest way to receive your funds. Be sure to have your bank routing and account number and be sure to use an account you are the owner of. If you attempt to deposit funds directly into an account you are not on, you risk the possibility of your tax refund being returned or rejected.”

To learn more about Austin Telco Federal Credit Union and how they can help you prepare for tax season, follow them on social media or to go ATFCU.org.

This segment is paid for by Austin Telco Federal Credit Union and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.