Filing tax returns just isn’t something that most people find enjoyable. However, it doesn’t need to be as difficult as people might think. With a bit of careful planning, and maybe a bit of local tax help, you will be able to make the process one that is simple. Here are a few suggestions to help you with that.
If you haven’t already done this, you should get all of the documentation that you will need for your taxes before you even sit down to get that return filled out. This can include any pieces of mail that you may have received that had the phrase “tax document enclosed” stamped on it. It also needs to include any sort of receipts that might be relevant.
While this isn’t a complete list, here are a few things you might need:
1099 and W-2 forms, including the ones that are for interest and dividend income
Mortgage interest, insurance, and property tax information
Documentation for tuition and fees
Information on the interest on student loans
Working from Home
When you are working from home as an employee, you will have a requirement that will get you a deduction. If your employer requires that you work from home, and you can get this in writing, you will be able to get an extra deduction.
That being said, if you are a freelancer, or just convinced your boss to allow you to work from home for one reason or another, this deduction won’t apply to you. Alternatively, if the company happens to be one that is completely virtual, and doesn’t have any office space, or if you have to work after hours when the offices are closed, this will qualify you for this deduction.
Get a Book
Let’s be realistic here. There isn’t any way that you will be able to memorize the complete U.S. tax code before the time comes for you to file. However, if you want to find all of the relevant information, you will need this.
You can get this information by downloading a copy of what is called “Your Federal Income Tax”. It is full of the information that you will need to know in order to fill out your tax forms correctly and to make sure that you are getting all of the deductions you can.
By far, the easiest way to get your taxes done is to do all of it at once. Just set aside some time when you can concentrate on getting it done and nothing else. Depending on how complex your tax situation is, this might be as short as an hour or as long as an entire weekend. That being said, if you do all of it at once, you will save time in the end.
Is It Too Much?
Most of the suggestions you just read are meant for individuals who don’t have tax returns that will be complicated, like business taxes or freelance income. If you are overwhelmed by your tax returns, the best way to get them done will be by finding and hiring a good CPA. Just make sure that you start early and have all of the necessary documentation to give them. Happy filing!