Tax Filing 101: Your Go-to Guide for Less Painful Filing

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Whether you’re a tax-filing pro or a novice, the task comes with unique challenges for everyone. Since the Tax Code is immensely complex (it’s 10 million words long, no exaggeration!), it’s easy for tax filers to spiral into confusion & worry. But the good news is that tax filing doesn’t have to be taxing!

A calm mind and a few tricks can make it a breeze. Here are 6 handy tips to make things easier:

1. Get organizing.
This is a good first step to do almost any task at hand. Dig out those crumpled receipts from your drawers, important mail and any other documentation required before you get around to filing. Here’s a little checklist to get you started:

– W-2 & 1099 forms, including those for dividend & interest income
– Mortgage interest (Form 1098) & property tax information
– Student loan interest information (Form 1098-E)
– Cancelled checks that can back up any donations you claim
– Medical bills exceeding 10% of your income
– All receipts to document unreimbursed business expenses

2. Quiz yourself.
Before you sit down to file, make sure you don’t just have your documents but also the right information. Make sure you’re familiar with tax reforms old and new.  Check if you’re eligible for Free File, what’s your filing status and how does that affect the process of filing. Find more such pertinent questions to ask yourself before filing, here.

3. Set up a schedule.
Figure out your filing pattern. Decide whether you want to work on taxes over a few days or do them all in one go. Most people agree that blocking a few hours on one day is the best way to get the task done quickly. It is essential to start filing on time. If you start early, half your job is done already. Early filing comes with several benefits which are a great incentive!

4. Bank on your bank.
If you’re having trouble keeping a tab on your expenses, your bank may have the information you’re looking for. Request them for copies of cancelled checks as well as debits for certain expenses. It is also possible to obtain year-end statements outlining all of your charges from certain credit card companies.

5. Ask for an extension.
While filing early is great, sometimes it is just not possible due to various circumstances. In that case, breathe. Filing for an extension is okay. In fact, you’re likely to miss out on important details if you fill in a rush and that could get you in trouble with the IRS. Obtaining an automatic 6-month extension is easy if you file correctly.

6. Seek expertise.
If you have doubts and questions remaining or have complex taxes due to having a small business etc., don’t worry. The silver lining is that you’re not on your own. Seek help from experienced friends/relatives or better yet, get a CPA. There are a plethora of business & individual tax filing services to choose from.

At MyTaxFiler, we promise the best tax filing services and assistance. Email us at tax@mytaxfiler.com or call us at (888) 482-0279 for a free 30-minute consultation today.

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