Are you trying to figure out how to do taxs and need some help? Read this article to get the best tips for getting your taxes done quickly.
The most dreaded time of the year for many—tax time.
You can handle it one of two ways: be prepared and file quickly and simply, receive a fast refund, or wait until the last minute, file in a rush, and potentially make mistakes.
If you’re not sure how to do taxes, you’ve come to the right place. With some organization and planning, you can do your taxes quickly and be done for the year.
Read on to learn some of the top ways you can get your tax done quickly and correctly while maximizing your refund.
- Track Your Deductions throughout the Year
If you keep track of your tax deductions all year, you’ll save a lot of time scrambling around finding everything when taxes are due. An easy way to do this is via an Excel spreadsheet or even just a notebook, which you can pop receipts into.
There are many tax deductions you may be able to claim, and if you’re not organized, you might miss some, causing you to pay additional tax.
Common tax deductions include charitable donations, interest on student loan payments, and fuel costs for driving to volunteer for a charity. For mileage, keep a log of the date, distance traveled, and reason for the trip.
- Declare All Income
It seems obvious, but always declare all income. If you don’t, and you happen to be audited by the IRS, this can result in a significant delay in getting your taxes done.
Taxable income is not only the salary earned from your job, but can also include commissions and wages from self-employed work, income from your rental properties, earnings from stocks and dividends, and alimony payments.
Sometimes, taxable income can come not only as a financial amount, but also as a gift or bonus, known as a fringe benefit. Examples of these would include a company vehicle, tuition fees paid for by your employer, or an off-site gym membership.
Offshore and foreign income also needs to be reported.
- Set up a Direct Deposit with the IRS
The easiest and fastest way to receive your tax refund is by setting up a direct deposit with the IRS. You can do this at the time of filing.
With direct deposit, your refund is deposited directly into your nominated bank account, usually in a matter of days.
The alternative is to wait for a check to arrive in the mail, which you’ll then need to take to the bank to cash or deposit. Waiting for a check will certainly slow down the process and you’ll be left waiting for longer for your much-needed refund.
- Get Help from a Pro or a Tax Software Program
When preparing taxes, you can streamline the process by getting professional help. One way to do this is by using the services of a tax agent or accountant.
They guide you through the process, step by step, ensuring you benefit from all deductions and credits and that all of your paperwork is correct.
Using professional help can save you a lot of time and headaches if you don’t enjoy or understand tax time.
For a more affordable alternative, use an online tax prep software, such as TurboTax. Software makes it easy to file online without missing anything important.
- File All Income Reports
Keep track of all of your income all year long, so you know the exact amount earned when it comes time to file. This is especially important if you’re self-employed or an independent contractor, as tax may not automatically be withheld when you’re paid by clients and customers.
An easy way to generate the amount of tax due is by creating a W2 online.
- File Early
The yearly tax deadline is April 15th, with extended deadlines for expats or those living overseas. As you might imagine, many Americans procrastinate and leave filing tax until right before the deadline.
However, if you file early, you are likely filing before most others, meaning your refund can get processed quickly and without delays.
Avoid the crowds by paying early and enjoy your refund while those around you rush to file before the due date.
- Keep a Copy of Last Year’s Tax Return
If your taxes will be very similar to previous years, keep a record of last year’s tax as a reference. This provides a quick reference to donations and credits and your earnings, which you can use to prepare this year’s tax quickly.
It is good practice to always hold onto all tax documents for at least seven years, in case of audits or discrepancies.
- Claim All Tax Credits
Are you claiming all your eligible tax credits? If not, you could be missing out on potential savings.
You can claim tax credits for all sorts of things, including childcare expenses, tuition fees, and even for having energy-efficient appliances in your home.
Take the time to read though and understand tax credits, and how they might apply to you.
- Double-Check Before Filing
Mistakes or omissions are common causes for IRS delays. Make sure a simple mistake doesn’t cause you a longer wait for your return.
This is easily done by reading through everything at least once, and double-checking that all of your details and banking information are entered correctly into the system.
- Track Your Refund Online
You’ve done it! Filed your tax and you see you’re getting a refund— great news! To find out when it will arrive, you can track your refund online to see its current status and when you’ll receive it.
This can easily be done via the IRS website, as long as you have your Social Security Number or Tax ID number handy.
Learn How to Do Taxes Today to Get Done Quickly
Now that you know how to do taxes, you can file quickly and accurately. Once you understand how to file, what’s required, and how to get help, you’re on track to a fast refund.
Taxes are an important civic duty, and we can all benefit from a better understanding of the tax process.
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