Ready for Tax Season?
The countdown to April 15th is on. It’s still a couple of months away but smart taxpayers are using this time to put their tax documents in order and hoping it gets them a refund check when it’s all said and done with. While preparing your taxes can be time consuming and frustrating, here are a few tips to make the whole thing a little less stressful.
Get everyone’s Social Security numbers ready.
Before you get started, you’ll need a Social Security Number for everyone on your tax return. This includes your spouse and any dependents such as children or parents. If your child doesn’t have a SSN, now is the time to get one. You can fill out an application for a Social Security card on the Social Security Administration’s website.
Collect all your documents.
Gather all your documents that show what you earned in 2014, plus your spouse’s documents if you are filing jointly. If you kept the same job throughout the year you only need your W-2 from your employer. If you weren’t employed by the same company in 2014, you might need a different form. For example, if you worked as a freelancer or contractor you may need a 1099-MISC form. If you collected unemployment, you need a 1099-G form. Be sure to reach out to employers if you don’t have the documentation you need at this point.
Find your return from 2013.
Unless your life has changed dramatically in the past year, your 2013 return is a great guide for 2014 filing. You’ll have many of the same deductions such as mortgage interest, property taxes and charitable contributions. If you are having difficulty finding last year’s return, you can request a copy online from the IRS website.
Figure out your 2014 deductions.
Now it’s time to look into what deductions you can claim for the year. There are many possibilities, but you need to be sure you have documentation for each of them. There are some easy to miss deductions so be sure to check out the IRS’s itemized deductions page for details. Every deductible expense can mean more money in your refund, it would be a shame to miss out.
Plan how to get your refund.
Investigate the best way for you to get your refund this tax season. Filing electronically can speed up the process so that you get your refund quicker. An easy and fast way to collect it is with direct deposit. You’ll need to know the financial institutions routing number and the account number that you would like the refund to be deposited in. Also be aware that the IRS allows you to split your refund between different accounts.
Every taxpayer’s situation and circumstances are different. If you have questions on filing your taxes, seek the advice of financial or tax professionals regarding your individual situation. Tax season can be overwhelming. But if you get organized, you can file with less stress and get your refund quickly.