No one actually likes doing his or her taxes. (Well, almost no one.) As we get closer to crunch time, plenty of folks have yet to organize their receipts, sharpen their pencils, and get cracking. Need a few tips on making tax time easier? We went straight to the IRS for some suggestions on making the most of what may be your least favorite time of the year.
GATHER YOUR RECORDS.
What will you need to complete your tax filing? Pull together your W-2s, 1099s, and any receipts, canceled checks, and other documents supporting income or deductions you’re claiming on your returns.
GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED.
The IRS’ Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) is a tax law resource that works you through any number of possible tax-related questions. Ask your own questions, enter search terms, or browse topics by category breakdown: General Filing Questions, Deductions, Credits, and Income.
E-FILE YOUR RETURNS.
Many companies have partnered with the IRS to provide electronic filing as a timesaving option. These software programs typically walk you through your entire return, helping you find every opportunity available to you. They also may include additional information and answers to questions as you work through your taxes. If you owe taxes, e-filing allows you to remit payment immediately.
CONSIDER DIRECT DEPOSIT.
Whether you e-file your returns or send them through the mail, any refund due will be received more quickly if you elect to have it directly deposited into your bank account.
REVIEW! THEN REVIEW AGAIN!
Don’t rush the process. As much as we all want our taxes out of the way, mistakes are easier to make if we’re in a mad dash to get things done. The most common errors are Social Security numbers and math calculations. If you run into trouble, seek help. The IRS offers information, forms, and more on their website.
Written by: Amy L Charles is the editorial director for West Michigan Woman. She e-files, but still isn’t keen on tax-time.
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