Expert shares advice on the most effective strategies for tax season

Navigating tax season can be a source of stress for many individuals. Virginia Tech finance expert Jesse Lineberry shares ways to stay ahead on tax season to avoid being overwhelmed as the April 15 deadline approaches.

Get organized early. “With so many details to account for it’s essential to retrieve all information from previous employers and bankers,” said Lineberry. He suggests creating a checklist of items you anticipate receiving and cross-checking those with last year’s documentation.

Don’t overlook major life changes. “It’s easy to forget that purchasing a home, getting married, sending a child to college or private school, retiring, or changing employers could have a significant impact on your tax bill. If you rolled an old retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b), into an IRA, this will need to be reported as well,” Lineberry said. 

Don’t miss out on credits. “Tax credits are especially attractive because they result in a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income tax owed. In general, they are more powerful than “deductions” and can make a significant impact on your tax bill,” he said. “Common credits include the Child Tax Credit, Child & Dependent Care Credit, American Opportunity Credit, and Lifetime Learning Credit.”

Save for later. “Tax season represents a great opportunity to re-evaluate how much you are saving for retirement,” said Lineberry. “If your tax bill was higher than anticipated, consider increasing the amount you’re deferring into your employer-sponsored retirement plan or Traditional IRA (if eligible). Traditional IRAs, most employer-sponsored retirement plans, Health Savings Accounts, and Flexible Savings Accounts, allow you to make tax-deductible contributions, which reduce your taxable income.” 

Ask for help. “A good CPA or Enrolled Agent can save you time and oftentimes, money while reducing the stress we often associate with preparing our taxes. This can help to reduce the street often associated with preparing for taxes,” said Lineberry.

– Written by Sarah Hern 

About Lineberry 

Jesse Lineberry is an assistant professor of practice with the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. He currently teaches multiple courses on financial planning and serves as the Financial Planning Program’s director.  

Schedule an Interview 

To schedule an interview with Jesse Lineberry, contact Margaret Ashburn in the media relations office at [email protected] or 540-529-0814.


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