5 Quick Tips to Filing Your Taxes #financial #taxes

It's Tax Time!

I have been filing my taxes since I was 19, so just about 16 years now. The first few years I filed it was over the phone. The IRS did not have many other options that I was aware of at the time. I remember sitting on the automated phone like for about 45 minutes to file my taxes. Seems insane now because there are ad's all over for "quick file" or "easy file" and filing can now take less than 30 minutes if you have everything in order and it is a simple file.
This year the deadline to file is April 15th.....time is running out if you have not already filed. I finally did ours a few weeks ago. My husband owes a few weeks of child support so they are currently in the process of holding it till that clears and hopefully that will not be too much longer.  But anyways, I figured I would share some quick and easy tips to file this year.
1. Get things together. Any W-2s or whatever proof of income you have (if you are self employed or a contractor). Gather any receipts for work related purchases like gas, travel expenses, phones, meals, anything related to working or job searching. Also if you made any donations. If you made a change in household or purchased a house check for possible rebates and tax incentives for this year. Educational credits are always a nice help. It is always good to try to keep receipts. I am horrible with that aspect so luckily I don't really need them or use them when I file ours.

2. Determine who you want to file with. What company, if any, you want to use to file. I personally have used H&R Block for the past 10+ years. Each company has different fees but most use the same basic platforms to file. Prior to using them, I went directly through the IRS e-file. It used to be done over the phone or by mail at the time. There is also Turbo Tax, which allows you to file on your own. Be careful of companies that offer "fast returns" or "next day" this and that. They can seem like they have more than they actually do. I only say this because I applied to work with a "fast refund" company only to go through training and realize that it really wasn't exactly what it claimed...so I left. You can check out e-file options on the IRS site.

3. Decide how to file and what to file. If you are head of household, single, married and filing jointly or separately. If you file married separate you are not eligible for the Earned Income Credit, which for us is a big portion of our return. If your spouse owes child support or and you both worked, you can file the Injured Spouse form. This form will get you back your share of the joint return and still take care of whatever obligations your spouse may have.

4. Don't rush. If you are ready to file now just slow down and take your time. Make sure everything is filed and filled out correctly. Check and double check social security numbers and date of births, typos can be a delay because you will have to go back and correct whatever mistakes are made. If you still have not filed and you are trying to rush to get it done before the deadline, slow down. You can always ask for an extension and file late if necessary. Anyone who has not finished filing their return can get an automatic 6 month extension. Visit Free File for more information and to request your extra time, it only takes a few minutes to complete.

5. Ask for help. If you think you need assistance then contact someone. If you are going through a company like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt, they have locations just about everywhere. You usually will have to pay a little more for walk in service but it is an option. Contact the IRS tax advocates if you have any questions. It is better to ask questions before and as you are filing rather than wait and have a delay or end up being an audit case. I have helped friends with audits and some of them ended up a nightmare!

Most of you, I am sure, are already aware of filing and how, but hopefully these tips will be able to help some of you or someone you share this with.

For more information on filing your taxes visit the IRS website.
If you have already filed and want to check on the status of your refund click HERE.

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with any companies mentioned above. This is not a sponsored post and I did not receive any compensation from any of the above mentioned companies.  


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