Every April, American taxpayers rush to file their income tax returns before the deadline. Whether you're getting a refund or you owe, you must file in order to avoid fees, interest, and penalties. With filing comes the need for some serious preparation so you'll have everything readily at hand when it comes time to report to Uncle Sam. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your next tax return season goes smoothly.
Choose Your Prep Method
There are several ways you can file income taxes ranging from the traditional pen and paper to online software or hiring a professional. Whichever method you choose is usually in relation to how much information you need to provide. If you're just filing a simple 1040-EZ with no deductions, manually filling the return in and mailing it through the post office might work for you. But those with a lot more detail to claim like home interest deductions, donations, and business expenses should consider either using a software program or consulting with a tax preparation pro. Tax preparation professionals can walk you through the process and they're available to answer your questions in person. If you feel comfortable filing yourself, online software might be the way to go.
Gather Your Receipts
In order to file an accurate tax return, you'll need to have everything in order before you begin. It's best to store all of your receipts in one place throughout the year so you can refer to all of them in one place later. Write down what each receipt is for you before filing them away so you know exactly where to insert them on the return when you file. For example, if you donated something to the local Goodwill, a provided receipt can be useful when you go to claim the deduction. Write down the purpose of that receipt before you tuck them away. Keep all of your business expense receipts separate. These receipts can range from office supplies to computer equipment and should be safely stored and identified so you can submit the information into the claim.
Know The Law
Every year, the tax code undergoes a myriad of changes. It's important to know what the current laws and updates are before you file so you can be sure you're claiming everything available and avoiding trying to get credits you might not be eligible for. Home improvement energy credits could be valid one year and invalid the next. The IRS website should be updated with all of the current changes, but it's advised that you ask a professional if there are any new laws you need to be aware of. By getting ahead of the game, you can be sure your next tax returns are not only accurate but that you're getting the most deductions available so you'll receive a better refund.
For tax preparation services, contact an establishment such as Tri Check Inc.