10 Tax Return Tips to Make Filing Easier This Year
Filing taxes can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these 10 simple tips, you can make the process of filing your taxes easier and less stressful this year. From understanding tax credits and deductions, to utilizing tax preparation software, and double checking your return, these tips will help you tackle your taxes with confidence and ease.
1. Gather Relevant Tax Documents: The first step to filing your taxes is to gather all the relevant documents. This includes income documents such as W2s, 1099s, and other 1098 forms, as well as any deductions or credits you may be eligible for. Make sure you keep all of these documents organized and easily accessible so you can reference them as needed.
Some of the most common tax documents include:
- W-2: A W-2 form is issued by an employer to an employee and reports the employee’s annual wages and the amount of taxes withheld.
- 1099 forms: 1099 forms report various types of income, such as interest, dividends, and self-employment income. There are different types of 1099 forms, including 1099-INT for interest income, 1099-DIV for dividends, and 1099-MISC for miscellaneous income.
- 1098 forms: 1098 forms are used to report mortgage interest and real estate taxes.
- Charitable contributions: A record of charitable contributions, including the name of the organization, date and amount of the contribution, and documentation of the donation (such as a receipt or canceled check)
- Medical and dental expenses: Records of medical and dental expenses, including bills and receipts, to claim as deductions.
- Investment income: Records of investment income, such as interest, dividends, and capital gains, as well as related expenses, such as investment management fees.
- Business expenses: Records of business expenses, such as receipts, invoices, and bank statements, to claim as deductions for self-employed individuals and small business owners.
- State and local taxes: Records of state and local taxes paid during the year.
- Retirement contributions: Records of contributions to retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, to claim as deductions.
2. Understand Tax Credits and Deductions: Tax credits and deductions are an important part of filing taxes and can help you save money. Make sure you understand which credits and deductions you are eligible for and how they can help you reduce your tax liability.
3. Utilize Tax Preparation Software: Tax preparation software can make filing your taxes much easier. Look for software that can help you easily complete your tax return, and make sure you double check the information you provide.
Here are five popular tax preparation software options:
- TurboTax: TurboTax is one of the most widely used tax preparation software options, it’s designed for individuals and offers a variety of options based on the user’s needs and experience level. It’s easy to use and it’s available online and as a download.
- H&R Block: H&R Block is another popular tax preparation software option that’s designed for individuals. It’s easy to use, offers a variety of options based on the user’s needs, and it’s available online and as a download.
- TaxAct: TaxAct is a budget-friendly tax preparation software option that’s designed for individuals. It’s easy to use, offers a variety of options based on the user’s needs, and it’s available online and as a download.
- QuickBooks Self-Employed: QuickBooks Self-Employed is a tax preparation software option that’s designed for self-employed individuals and small business owners. It helps to track income and expenses, and provides tax guidance and support, it’s available online and as a mobile app.
- TaxSlayer: TaxSlayer is a tax preparation software option that’s designed for individuals. It’s easy to use, offers a variety of options based on the user’s needs, and it’s available online.
4. Take Advantage of Tax Filing Extensions: Tax filing extensions can help you avoid late fees and provide you with more time to file your taxes. Make sure you understand the rules and regulations for filing extensions, so you can take advantage of them when needed.
5. Double Check Your Return: Before submitting your tax return, make sure you double check it for accuracy. This will help ensure that you don’t miss any important deductions or credits, and that you get the maximum refund possible.
6. Keep Accurate Records: Accurate record keeping is an important part of filing taxes. Make sure you keep all of your documents organized and easily accessible so you can reference them as needed.
7. Consider Professional Tax Preparation Help: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process of filing your taxes, consider hiring a professional to help. A tax professional can help you with the filing process, as well as provide you with advice and guidance.
8. Know Your Tax Filing Deadlines: It’s important to know your tax filing deadlines and make sure you file your taxes on time. This will help you avoid late fees and penalties, and ensure that you get the maximum refund possible.
9. Decide How You Will File: Once you have all your documents in order, decide how you will file your taxes. You can file electronically through a tax preparation software, or you can file a paper return.
10. Make Use of Tax Breaks: Tax breaks are an important part of filing taxes and can help you save money. Make sure you take advantage of any tax breaks available to you, such as deductions, credits, and other incentives.
Filing taxes can be a daunting task, but with these 10 tips, you can make the process easier and less stressful this year. From gathering the necessary documents to taking advantage of tax breaks, these tips will help you tackle your taxes with confidence and ease.
Top ten key takeaways:
1. Gather relevant tax documents
2. Understand tax credits and deductions
3. Utilize tax preparation software
4. Take advantage of tax filing extensions
5. Double check your return
6. Keep accurate records
7. Consider professional tax preparation help
8. Know your tax filing deadlines
9. Decide how you will file
10. Make use of tax breaks
Now that you have the knowledge and the tools to make filing your taxes a smoother process, it’s time to get started. Make sure you understand the rules and regulations, and take advantage of any tax credits and deductions available to you. With these 10 tips, you can make filing taxes a breeze this year.