Big life changes are exciting, and sometimes stressful, times in our lives. Events like the birth of new babies, marriages, and going to school can change not only our daily routines, but can bring especially big changes during this time of year- tax season. Master Lock, the world’s largest manufacturer of the well-known padlocks and security products, has an ongoing commitment to keep consumers safe through all of these different changes and stages with Master Lock Vault.
Master Lock Vault is a free, digital safe deposit box that provides a safe and secure solution to securely store and organize lock combinations, digital copies of passports and social security cards, confidential data such as debit or PIN card numbers, online credit card account log-in information, and other important tax documents. Master Lock Vault can easily be accessed from multiple digital sites- including your personal computer, smart phone, or tablet all through the website or free downloadable app. I’ve been using Master Lock Vault to help me keep all of my passwords secure and available to me at all times, as well as to store some personal documents that I can pull up whenever the need be. I downloaded Master Lock Vault for free on my iPhone and it was a breeze to set up and use.
In addition to providing organization help with Master Lock Vault, Master Lock is also offering tips for maximizing returns during key life stages. Did you know that approximately 1 in 5 Americans who file their own tax return leave an average of $450 on the table each year- due largely to unnoticed deductions and credits? Lucky for you, if you’re any of these 4 stages, there may be some special deductions and credits that you may qualify for.
1. Recent College Graduates: Graduating from college is a great accomplishment, but many graduates face a mountain of debt owed on their student loans. Luckily, there are credits that could provide a tax break for young professionals this season: Graduates who begin repaying their student loans may qualify for the Student Loan Interest Deduction, which would deduct up to $2,500 of qualified student loan interest. If you plan to continue your education, you may qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit which can provide eligible students with a tax credit toward undergraduate, graduate or professional degree courses at an eligible educational institution.
2. Newlyweds: After exchanging rings and tossing the bouquet, newlyweds’ lives – and taxes – merge into one. Filing jointly with your spouse offers many advantages, and the IRS gives joint filers one of the largest deductions each year. With a new marital status comes significant changes that could affect your taxes. It’s imperative for the names and Social Security numbers on your tax return to reflect your Social Security Administration (SSA) records. If you made changes to your name (Form SS-5) or address (Form 8822), you need to file the proper forms to notify the SSA and IRS. You should also notify your workplace to ensure your receive your W-2.
3. Parents: Raising a child to the age of 18 costs approximately $245,000 in today’s economy, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Parents can ease their burden by taking advantage of the Child Tax Credit, which offers a tax credit up to $1,000 per qualifying child. Additionally, parents who paid for child care in order to work may qualify for the Child and Dependent Care Credit, which reduces federal income tax.
4. Seniors (65+): As we age, it’s even more important to correctly prepare tax returns in order to receive the proper deductions and credits. Storing personal expenses and documentation in a secure location, such as the Master Lock Vault, will keep seniors’ personal information organized and eliminate the worry of lost or stolen paper documents that contain confidential information. If you want or need to store physical copies, keep them protected in a locking fire- and water-resistant Sentry Safe storage chest or safe. Based on filing status, seniors may qualify for the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled (Forms 1040 or 1040A), and seniors who do not itemize their deductions receive a higher deduction amount. Seniors should also take advantage of free tax services, such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides income tax preparation and electronic filing services, and Tax Counseling for the Elderly program, which focuses on pensions and retirement-related concerns.
From now through April 16, any registered user of the Master Lock Vault is eligible to enter the Tax Relief Rewards Sweepstakes for a chance to win 1 of 5 $1,000 prizes this tax season. Here’s the official rules to enter the sweepstakes:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Entry into the Master Lock “Tax Relief Rewards” Sweepstakes is open to permanent lawful residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia (“D.C.”) and Canada, excluding Quebec, who are 18 years or older at time of entry. Limit one (1) entry per person. Sweepstakes begins at 07:00:01 a.m. CDT on March 16, 2015 and ends on April 16, 2015 at 6:59:59 a.m. CDT. Entrants can access www.masterlockvault.com and follow the on-screen instructions to create a Master Lock Vault account, which will generate a confirmation message containing a link to the Sweepstakes entry form. Existing, opt-in subscribers will receive an email containing a link to the Sweepstakes entry form. For complete rules, click here.
In addition to the Tax Relief Rewards Sweepstakes, Master Lock is also offering to giveaway a Master Lock 7148D Keyed Locking File Box to one of our readers. The Keyed Locking File Box safely protects and secures your personal physical documents and helps keep your files organized in one location. We have transferred our most important documents and a few other special items into our locking box, which is the perfect size to hang file folders above and place some special heirloom jewelry below. With two keys, both my husband and I have full access to the box, and its size makes it perfect to slide right under our bed.
Be sure get started with Master Lock Vault now to get all of your important passwords and documents digitally in one place, and enter the Tax Relief Rewards Sweepstakes above. For all of your physical documents, enter to win a Master Lock Keyed Locking File Box below!