8 Things To Remember Before Filing Your Taxes

Wife and husband using computer illustrate blog "8 Things To Remember Before Filing Your Taxes"

Tax season can be a stressful time for many, filled with paperwork and deadlines. Whether you’re a seasoned taxpayer or navigating your finances for the first time, certain steps can make the process smoother and ensure you’re in good standing with the IRS. Here are key things to remember before filing your taxes.

1. Gather All Necessary Documents

Before sitting down to file your taxes, ensure you have all the necessary documentation. This includes W-2 forms from employers, 1099 forms if you’re self-employed, interest statements from banks, and records of any investments. Additionally, don’t forget documents related to deductions or credits you plan to claim, such as educational expenses, charitable donations, and medical bills.

2. Review Changes in Tax Laws

Tax laws can change yearly, impacting how you file and the amount you owe or are refunded. Stay informed about any new tax laws or adjustments to existing ones that could affect your return. The IRS website is a reliable source for the latest tax information and updates.

3. Decide on Your Filing Method

You have a few options when it comes to filing your taxes: doing it yourself with tax software, hiring a professional tax preparer, or using the IRS’s Free File program if your income is below a certain threshold. Weigh the pros and cons of each method based on your financial situation, the complexity of your taxes, and your comfort level with tax laws.

4. Be Mindful of Deadlines

Missing the tax filing deadline can lead to penalties and interest charges. Mark your calendar with the deadline or check the IRS website for any changes to the filing date. If you need more time, you can file for an extension, but remember that an extension to file is not an extension to pay any taxes you owe.

5. Understand Your Deductions and Credits

Tax deductions and credits can significantly lower your tax bill or increase your refund. Understand which deductions and credits you’re eligible for, such as educational expenses, energy-efficient home improvements, or child and dependent care credits. Itemizing deductions might be more beneficial than taking the standard deduction depending on your expenses.

6. Check Your Filing Status

Your filing status affects your tax rate and eligibility for certain credits and deductions. Make sure you select the right status when filing—whether it’s Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child.

7. Double-Check Your Return

Before submitting your tax return, double-check all entries for accuracy. Ensure all social security numbers are correct, and review your income, deductions, and credits for any errors. Mistakes can delay processing and affect your refund or tax liability.

8. Plan for Refunds or Payments

If you’re expecting a refund, consider how you want to receive it—direct deposit is the fastest method. If you owe taxes, explore your payment options such as installment plans if you can’t pay the full amount upfront.

Wrapping It Up

Filing taxes doesn’t have to be daunting. By staying organized, informed, and diligent, you can navigate tax season confidently. Remember these tips before filing your taxes to avoid common pitfalls and potentially save money.

JT Tax Services: Taxes Made Easy

When it comes to taxes, knowledge is power. That’s why at At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are working with experienced professionals with in-depth knowledge of all applicable tax laws and regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California, contact us today by email (info@jttaxservices.com), telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services. Feel free to contact us today!

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