Filing your taxes for the first time can feel like a daunting and intimidating task. After all, you may have heard some horror stories from other people who have complained about the complexity of the federal tax code.
But don’t panic just yet. Filing your taxes for the first time does not have to be scary. In fact, most first time filers will find it easier to file as some would say. While it may seem overwhelming when you think about it, there are some steps you can take to ensure that it will be an easy task. Take a look at the list below for some tips you can follow.
- Get your files organized – first things first, you need to get your files and documents organized. At around January or February, expect to get your W-2, which will show how much you have made and taxes withheld. If you are an independent contractor, instead of the W-2, you will instead get a 1099-MISC. This time there will be no tax withheld and you will need to calculate how much income taxes you will need to pay. To make it easier when you file, all your tax statements and pertinent documents must be inside a file folder. These should include not just your earning statements, but any additional income you might have, plus records of all your deductible expenses and tax breaks.
- Don’t wait until the last minute – the key to make any task less daunting when you have to do it for the first time is to be well-prepared. Don’t wait until you only have days to prepare all your documents and do your research. Tax filing deadlines are usually until mid-April of the calendar year. As early as now, you can start making sure that you have all your documents ready. As mentioned above, keep all your deductible expenses and other receipts and statements inside one box or file folder.
- Make sure to remember the tax deductions and tax credits – don’t forget to do your research and find out just what type of deductions you can have. For some, they get the help of professional tax preparers to help them with the process. Professionals already have years of experience, so you can trust them to help with the filing. This is a good idea if it is your first time and you want to make sure that will not make any mistake.
- Use a tax software for easier filing – if you feel confident that you can do the process on your own, then you can just get a tax software to help complete and file your tax returns. There are many available in the market today and you can view key codes here so that you are able to get a discount for the software. Make sure you buy it early so that you have the time to study the software and avoid any errors.