Tax Filing Season Is Here: Get Ready
Once the holidays are over and you have rung in the New Year, it is time to welcome in the next season—tax season, that is. This may be a time of celebration for taxpayers expecting a big return, but it can also be a stressful time for individuals who believe they will owe money. Regardless of which category you fall into, there are some tips and advice you should consider before you complete your tax filing this year.
When Should I File My Taxes?
The last day to file taxes is April 15; however, you can file in advance of the deadline. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) typically begins accepting returns sometime between January 15 and February 1. If you are unable to file on time, then you can request an extension.
Failing to file your taxes on time can result in serious consequences, including interest charges and penalties.
What Should I Know in Advance of My Tax Filing?
- How to Fill Out W4 Form. A W4 is an IRS form, which indicates to your employer how much tax to withhold from your paycheck. You want to make sure you fill-out this form accurately because if your employer does not take enough, you will face a big tax bill at the end of the year. On the contrary, if your employer withholds too much money, you will receive a large refund, but it also means you will have less money in each paycheck all year.
- Keep track of essential paperwork. To streamline the process, you must have all the important paperwork on hand when it comes time to file. This paperwork includes W2s (which outlines how much your employer paid you and how much taxes they withheld) and 1099 (it records any money you received from a source other than an employer) forms. You may also want to have a copy of last year’s return and receipts from expenses or charitable gifts if you plan to claim deductions.
What Are My Options for Income Tax Filing?
Taxpayers have three main ways to file their taxes:
- Completing and mailing an IRS Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
- Online tax filing using tax software.
- Utilizing a professional tax service to file your taxes on your behalf.
There are benefits and drawbacks of each method. While it is completely free to fill out a 1040 Form by hand, it can be complicated and time-consuming to complete. Some online tax software options are free, but they will require some amount of personal effort. Hiring a tax service may involve a fee, but it eliminates the guesswork on your part.
Why is a Professional Tax Service the Ideal Option for Tax Filing?
Several benefits come with working with a professional tax service:
- Money savings. While it may be slightly more expensive to use a professional tax service, these providers are more likely to find tax credits and deductions you might miss. These can maximize your tax refund and easily exceed the fees for the tax service.
- Time savings. Completing a tax return yourself can be time-consuming. In fact, according to the IRS, the average tax return takes approximately seven hours to complete. Utilizing a tax service can eliminate that time spent.
- Audit support. Utilizing a professional tax service will reduce the risk of being audited. If you are audited, the service will be able to provide support in dealing with the IRS.
- Provides peace of mind. If you have ever attempted to file your tax return on your own, then you know how stressful and confusing it can be. If you work with a professional tax preparer, you can be confident that your returns are being filed accurately.
Tax filing season is here whether you are ready or not! Don’t wait until the last minute to do it. Visit us today to discuss our tax preparation and refund services. Give your refund a good use and get the car insurance you need with Vern Fonk.
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