As you're no doubt aware, Tax Day 2017 was April 18, 2017. How was your filing? Did you decide to push the task off to the last minute due to the fact that you're lacking experience? If so, you're not alone. Filing your taxes on your own may be intimidating, but it's not impossible. Getting familiar with the basics can prepare you for filing in the future, plus it can even get you a better tax return.Filing your taxes on your own may be intimidating, but it's not impossible. Getting familiar with the basics can prepare you for filing in the future, plus it can even get you a better tax return.
Here are a few tips for filing taxes on your own for the first time:
1. Educate yourself
If you have no idea what you're doing, use the online resources provided by the Internal Revenue Service. You'll learn what you need to get started, how to check the status of your refund and how you can prepare for next year. The Interactive Tax Assistant, for example, is a helpful tool that lets you ask questions in regard to tax law.
2. Use last year's return for reference
Before you sit down and start filing, make sure you have your federal and state returns from the previous year. Go Banking Rates suggested referencing last year's returns since most of the information you'll input is the same. Otherwise, be sure to make note of major life events, such as getting married, having a child or starting a new job.
3. Use software
To keep your stress levels down, use software to file your taxes. The IRS suggested ditching the old-school method for e-filing because it's the safer and simpler option . The software does the math for you, which ensures you'll enter accurate data.
4. Don't forget about deductions and credits
Many people often overlook the deductions that could get them a better tax return, according to Bankrate. For instance, did you know that the IRS allows deductions for printing your resume and traveling to search for a new job? You can also claim charitable contributions and child care. Keep this in mind while you're filing your taxes - hopefully, you've kept all of your pay stubs and receipts throughout the year!
5. Take your time
You may have waited until the very last minute to file your taxes, but that doesn't mean you should rush through them. If you don't take your time while filling out your information, you could make a mistake that delays your refund.
If you still don't feel confident regarding tax filing on your own for next year, or you have questions and concerns related to filing your taxes, reach out to the tax, trusts and estates attorneys at Scarcini Hollenbeck. They can provide the guidance you need to file successfully for next tax season.