One of the few certainties in life is said to be taxes. Another certainty is that you’ll be a little confused about taxes, especially when first starting out or when something shifts in your finances. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Follow these tax tips as you file your taxes.
3 Tips When You Need to File Your Taxes
Organize Your Paperwork
Throughout the year, you will probably receive lots of paperwork that comes through the mail or e-mail. Implementing a strong filing system for both is a great first step to ease the tax filing process. Use folders, spreadsheets, labels… everything you can think of to easily find the documents you need. A spreadsheet listing all your tax forms year-to-year can be helpful. This way you can be sure you haven’t forgotten any forms when filing. Check each one off as received.
Remember, you should save the last several years of tax returns. Make sure they have a designated place as well. Now that you have a place for all your tax paperwork, you can immediately track it and file it as things come through the mail over the next few weeks!
Start to File Your Taxes Early
Starting early is a great way to keep the stress low when it comes to taxes. The more time you have, the more questions you can ask and the more you can look over your paperwork. If you are filing electronically, you can start as soon as the forms come in the mail. However, you may want to wait until everything arrives. It’s up to you- both ways work as long as you stay organized.
Filing early could also mean you will receive your tax refund early and quicker than later in the tax season.
Ask For Help
Finally, be sure to ask for help when you are stumped. A tax professional is the best source, although a parent or someone more familiar with tax code can also be helpful. Additionally, some tax filing software offer ways to get professional help. You may need some help when it comes to deductibles, too. Interest from student loan payments and mortgages, adding a dependent, dividends and more can be a bit confusing at first when there are many deductible options. So don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Don’t be afraid to spend some money either. This is definitely worth getting right the first time around. Once you get past the tricky years, you can use those as examples and file your taxes yourself the following year. You may qualify for free help through a local non-profit offering assistance to those with a financial need. Do some research to explore your options.