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Get your tax return out the door faster — and get your refund sooner

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If you want to get your refund as quickly as possible, you’d better hustle that tax return out the door.

The IRS has received 28.6 million tax returns for the 2019 tax year as of Feb. 7, and it anticipates receiving more than 150 million returns in total.

Filers are already getting money back. The agency has paid 10.8 million refunds as of Feb. 7, down nearly 5% from last year.

On average, taxpayers are getting back $1,952 from the federal government, up $3 from the year-ago period.

There are plenty of advantages to filing early. For starters, you beat the would-be scammers who want to file a phony return using your data.

“Making sure you’ve obtained and organized all of your tax documents is going to make the tax prep process go much more smoothly,” said Andrew Phillips, director at the Tax Institute at H&R Block.

“It also ensures you’re not missing key tax benefits or income that can lead to an IRS letter,” he said.

Everything begins with getting your paperwork together to ensure an accurate and speedy filing.

Identifying income

The Internal Revenue Services offices in Washington, D.C.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Use last year’s income tax return as a guideline. Go over your income sources and deductions claimed to make sure you leave no break unclaimed.

“Last year’s tax return is a good checklist for everything that you’ll need this year,” said Cristina Gugilielmetti, a certified financial planner and owner of Future Perfect Planning in Brooklyn, New York.

By now, you should have received your Form W-2 if you’re an employee, as well as Form 1099-MISC from businesses that have hired you for freelance work.

If you’re a freelancer, you should have been tracking income and expenses throughout 2019, plus paying quarterly estimated taxes.

Gig economy workers should have received a Form 1099-K, which would spell out how much they earned from debit and credit card transactions.

Here are key documents you’ll need and when you can expect to get them.

While the IRS won’t dole out penalties if you didn’t have insurance coverage in 2019, your state might impose a tax. This is the case for Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Watch out for a series of forms (Forms 1095-A, -B and -C) detailing whether you and your family members had coverage throughout the year. You’ll need them to file those with your state tax returns.

You may have to reach out to your human resources department or to your insurer directly to get this paperwork.

More from Smart Tax Planning:
Trump wants to extend his tax overhaul. What it means for you
One in 5 fear they’ll owe the IRS money this spring
How to protect yourself from tax scams this season

Finally, while procrastination is never a good idea, sometimes taxpayers have no choice.

For instance, a delayed 1099-B from your brokerage account could potentially hold up your filing plans.

Further, investors in partnerships generally have to wait until they get a Schedule K-1 from the entity. This document spells out the filer’s share of income, losses and dividends.

These taxpayers tend to go on extension.

Grabbing deductions and credits

MoMo Productions | DigitalVision | Getty Images

Whether you itemize or not, you’ll need a few supporting documents to claim certain deductions and credits.

For instance, if you want to claim the dependent care tax credit, you’ll need to contact your childcare provider for their tax ID and a total of what you paid.

Here are the forms you’ll need to claim certain tax breaks.

Further, those who donated to their favorite causes and wish to claim a charitable deduction must have the appropriate acknowledgement letters from the charities.

Remember, you must itemize on your tax return to deduct your donations.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the bar on who will itemize, as you now must surpass the standard deduction of $12,200 for singles or $24,400 for married filing jointly to do so.

Either way, you won’t know if you qualify to take itemized deductions until you tally up your expenses.

“Get a central repository for everything that comes in the mail or a digital folder at your desktop for electronic forms that come in so they are all in one place,” said Guglielmetti.



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Digital and mobile ad fraud to cause losses of $100 million by 2023 for North American advertisers

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Ad fraud is predicted to increase over the coming five years in North America as total ad spending exceeded $100 billion in 2019.

According to research by TrafficGuard and JuniperResearch, in 2018 advertisers lost a whopping $44 million in ad spend to fraudulent traffic – a loss that anticipated to reach $100 million by 2023.

Around 36% of global ad spend lost to ad fraud in 2023 will be from North American advertisers according to the study.

Despite various anti-fraud solutions being in place, fraudsters are becoming more skilled at adopting their technologies to avoid detection.

Mobile in-app advertising may be at greater risk as spending is forecast to rise 72% until 2023.

The average ad spend per Internet user in the US is estimated to be over $407 in 2019 – representing a 455% higher rate than the global average.

The average invalid traffic volume per North American Internet user is estimated to increased 57% over the next four years, twice the growth of genuine ad traffic over the same time frame.

But what are the effects of ad fraud on digital marketers?

Apart from wasted resources and budgets, many advertisers are also likely to continue to invest in fraudulent traffic, wasting their time and resulting in weaker campaign performance.

Although ad fraud is predicted to grow overall, Juniper Research also expects around 20% of loss to be potentially recovered.



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Countrywise Total Greenhouse Gas Emmission (kt of CO2 equivalent) from 1970 to 2012

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This video demonstrates the animation of the Countrywise Total Greenhouse Gas Emmission (kt of CO2 equivalent) from 1970 to 2012.
Here, you will get to see how developed countries like United States of America is at the top to emit greenhouse gases. While country like Indonesia is at the ups and downs over the year.

What is Total greenhouse gas emissions in kt of CO2?

Total greenhouse gas emissions in kt of CO2 equivalent are composed of CO2 totals including biomass burning such as post-burn decay, forest fires, peat fires, decay of drained peatlands etc.; all anthropogenic CH4 sources, N2O sources and F-gases such as HFCs, PFCs and SF6, but excluding short-cycle biomass burning such as Savannah burning and agricultural waste burning.

About Data Source:
Annual data from 1970 to 2012 for total greenhouse gas emmission (kt of CO2 equivalent) by each country is sourced from World Bank.
Further to make animation look good, imported data from World Bank is interpolated to simulate the smooth transitions between countries over the months.

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Video Credit: Data Parlour
Data Source: World Bank
Music: Youtube Audio Library

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