The tax filing season is almost over. You can make tax time easier if you don’t wait until the last minute. Here are 10 important tax time tips:
1. Gather your records. Collect all tax records you need to file your taxes. This includes receipts, canceled checks and records that support income, deductions or tax credits that you claim on your tax return. Store them in a safe place.
2. Report all your income. You will need to report your income from all of your Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form 1099 income statements when you file your tax return.
3. Get answers. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on the IRS website to get answers to many of your questions about tax credits, deductions and many more topics.
4. Use Free File. You can prepare and e-file a tax return for free using IRS Free File, available exclusively on IRS.gov. If your income was $58,000 or less, you qualify to use free tax software. If your income was higher, or if you’re comfortable doing your own tax return, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms. Visit IRS.gov/freefile to check your options.
5. Try IRS e-file. Electronic filing is the best way to file a tax return. It’s accurate, safe and easy. Last year, more than 122 million taxpayers used IRS e-file. If you owe taxes, you have the option to file early and pay by April 15.
6. Weigh your filing options. You have several options for filing your tax return. You can prepare it yourself or go to a tax preparer. You may be eligible for free, face-to-face help at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly site. Weigh your options and choose the one that works best for you.
7. Use direct deposit. Combining e-file with direct deposit is the fastest and safest way to get your tax refund.
8. Visit the IRS website 24/7. IRS.gov is a great place to get everything you need to file your tax return. Visit ‘1040 Central’ for online tools, filing tips, answers to frequently asked questions and IRS forms and publications. Get them all anytime, day or night.
9. Check out number 17. IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, is a complete tax resource. It contains helpful information such as whether you need to file a tax return and how to choose your filing status.
10. Review your return. Mistakes slow down the receipt of your tax refund. Be sure to check all Social Security numbers and math calculations on your return, as these are the most common errors. If you run into a problem, remember the IRS is here to help. Start with IRS.gov.