The anxiety of waiting until the last minute to do your taxes is a feeling that many people know all too well. If you’re anything like most people, you’ve probably been putting off doing your taxes for a while. But don’t worry – there’s still time to get a jumpstart on them! Here are four tips to help organize yourself and get started.
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1- Use Online Services for an Easier Filing Process
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to go ahead and file your taxes early. The reason for this is that it takes about three weeks for the government to accept, review, and process your tax return. This means if you wait until April to file your taxes, you’ll be waiting three additional weeks before you get your tax refund (it takes two weeks for the money to be transferred and one week for processing).
Filing online is an easy way to help relieve some of the burdens. Use a service like TurboTax or Credit Karma if you want premade tax forms, or fill out TaxACT or H&R Block’s software if you’re going to enter your taxes yourself. Whatever services you choose, they all make the process easier and help ensure everything is done right and on time.
2- Talk to a Tax Attorney for Questions or Concerns
If you’re unsure of something or want some advice on how to file your taxes, talk to a tax attorney. Even though it’s pretty easy to find information about taxes online nowadays, there is still some stuff that only an experienced professional will know.
Ask the attorney about anything you’re unsure of, and they’ll provide you with their expert advice. If the attorney finds that your question is frequent, they will write about it as an FAQ on their website. This can be beneficial for others who need help finding information as well.
3- Have All the Necessary Forms and Paperwork Ready to Go
As soon as you know what your tax return will be, start gathering all of the necessary forms and documents. The more organized you are from the beginning, the easier it’ll be to file online or on paper.
Start by organizing all receipts and financial statements. Put these in an envelope, folder, or binder so you can easily find them when needed. You will also need to gather your W-2 forms and any other tax documents you received throughout the year. If possible, try to get all of this information together before January 1st, so it’s ready to go.
4- Don’t Forget to Update Your Address with the IRS
When you move, make sure to update your address on file with the IRS as soon as possible. This is especially important if you don’t use direct deposit because you may not receive your refund if it’s not sent to your current address.
Use Form 8822 – Change of Address to notify the IRS of your new details to update your address. You can send this form by mail to the appropriate address or electronically through Secure Access if you have a user PIN. The process is straightforward, so make sure to do it as soon as possible!
These are just four simple tips that should help you on your way to getting a jump start on your taxes. Remember, the sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get your refund.