Filing tax returns on your own without the help of an accountant or a tax consultant such as Wilks CPA, can be very overwhelming since it involves a lot of paperwork and computation. If you have decided to deal with all the challenges and hassles of filing your own taxes, then you need to first equip yourself with all the necessary information that you can use to make this arduous task a bit easier.
The following are just some of the most important rules that you should follow if you want to lessen the burden involved in tax filing:
- Collect all the necessary tax documents. Preparing the W-2 provided by your employer in advance is a huge help. If you have multiple jobs, then it is best for you to ask for a W-2 form from each of your employers. All received 1099 forms should also be collected. These forms are usually provided by your bank if you earn interest of more than $10 within the year and if you work for an independent contractor. It is necessary for you to determine all the documents that you need when filing so you won’t end up delaying the whole process.
- File your tax early. As soon as all your tax forms are delivered through your mail, you should start doing the filing process. Avoid waiting for the deadline since this move might only cause you to deal with a lot of burden including being required to pay for penalties due to late filing.
- Consider filing online. This rule is an effective time-saver. Filing online allows you to save more time because it is automated. After submitting your form online, you will receive a confirmation that your tax forms are delivered to IRS on time. Doing the process online also works in speeding up the refund process.
- Take note of the most commonly committed errors in tax filing. This can help you prevent committing the same mistakes. Among the most common mistakes usually faced by taxpayers are the following:
- Missing or incorrect social security numbers
- Computation mistakes in figuring out taxable income, earned income credit, taxable amount of benefits provided by social security, credit for child and dependent care and estimated and withholding tax payments
- Erroneous tax entered based upon the filing status and taxable income
- Entering estimated and withholding tax payments in the wrong line
- Mathematical errors
- Understanding the tax code. Prior to filing your tax returns, it is advisable for you to first research about the most commonly used tax codes and terminologies. You have to acquaint yourself about these codes to prevent yourself from guessing where you should input certain information. You should also remember that tax codes change every year and filing your tax return based on an outdated knowledge might cause you to deal with dire financial consequences in the future. To prevent issues in the future, make sure that your knowledge about tax codes are updated before you file your taxes.
If you dread the process of filing for your tax returns on your own, rest assured that there are easy to follow rules that can help you out. By adhering to the simple rules mentioned above, you can easily file for your taxes and realize that the whole process is not actually that intimidating. If you decide you need help, give Wilks CPA a call!