Whether you’re a teacher, nurse, or business owner, one thing we all have on our to-do list this year is to file our taxes. Being prepared and tackling your taxes before the April 17, 2018 deadline will help reduce stress you may be feeling about the process. Here are some tips for successfully filing this year.
Since everyone’s financial situation is different, determining which tax forms best suit your situation is the first step. Visit irs.gov or consult a professional if you’re not sure forms to use. Once you receive your W-2 from your employer, you can begin filling out your tax forms. Don’t forget to include any property or real estate documentation, proof of donations, and receipts for business, medical, or education expenses.
Determine your filing status.
If you’ve experienced any life changes from the previous year such as adding or losing any family members, ask your employer if you can review your W-24.
File Yourself or Get Help.
There are plenty of options when it comes to filing your taxes. You can file for free using IRS e-file, or be walked through them online in a step-by-step process with H&R Block or Turbo Tax.
And for those that prefer in-person guidance, be sure to consult a professional who is up-to-date on tax codes and laws.
Check your deductions.
Bought a house? Got hitched? Had a baby? These are examples of major life events that entitle you to deductions. Research all possible deductions to avoid overpaying on your taxes.
Choose between itemized and standard deductions.
Depending on what type of work you do and your financial situation, you may need to do itemized deductions, where you get credits for everything you’ve spent, rather than taking the standard deduction as dictated by your filing status. If you need to know more, consult a professional.
Track all charitable donations.
Donations are tax-deductible. Make sure to keep track of all monthly or one-off donation expenses that you can deduct from your taxes.
Remember it can end up costing you more money if you overlook a credit or deduction you are entitled to. This is why doing your research beforehand and consulting a professional can save you time and money in the long run.