I miss the days of being a dependent because that meant I didn’t have to
worry about filing taxes and all of the rigmarole involved. Sometimes I wonder
whether the tax system was set up so that people without an accounting degree
would be forced to pay an accountant to do their taxes for them. Hmmm….
Getting a Head Start
Since I now have the fortune of being someone who is fully employed but works
from home, I figured I would contact a representative from the IRS to go over a
few things just to make sure I didn’t miss anything when I filed my taxes this
year. That being said, the following are some things that I picked up by going
to the IRS
website and snooping around.
Top 10 Tax Time Tips
- Gather Your Records- It’s never too early to start
gathering any and all documents that you may need in order to file your
taxes correctly. These include items such as: receipts, canceled checks,
W-2s and 1099s.
- Know Your Forms & Where to Find Them- All forms and
publications are downloadable on the
website, with the most popular forms listed along the left-hand side of
Publication 17 is a comprehensive collection of information for
taxpayers which highlights everything you’ll need to know about filing a
- Weigh Your Options- Figure out whether or not you will
be filing your taxes yourself online, using software or going to see someone
else who will do the dirty work for you. Also, it’s good to know whether or
not you qualify to file your taxes for free online using the
- Give Yourself Time- Rushing through your taxes (as big
of a pain as taxes can be) is not worth it. Set aside plenty of time and go
slowly so that you don’t miss anything.
- Double Check Your Return- Mistakes will only slow down
the processing of your return, so make sure that all of your calculations
and numbers, etc. are correct.
e-file- A lot of people find that filing their taxes online is
much easier because the computer handles the math calculations for you, and
you also receive your refund in about half the time it would take to file a
- Consider Direct Deposit- It almost seems silly nowadays
not to opt for this. After all, who wouldn’t want to save themselves a trip
to the bank?
- Visit the
Website- This site has EVERYTHING and more than you’ll ever
want to know about filing your taxes.
- Relax- If you find yourself breathing into a paper bag
because you have no idea what a 1040 form is or because your dog ate your
W-2, there’s always the trusty customer reps to help you out. Give them a
call at 1.800.829.1040.
Important Facts to Remember:
- The deadline for filing taxes this year is April 15, 2009.
- Tax advice for recently married or divorced taxpayers
- Tax advice for filing your taxes for free is available
- Tax advice for people who have moved or changed address
- Advice on what tax records to keep can be found
- Facts about Dependents and Exemptions can be found
- Help for financially distressed taxpayers can be found
- Definitions of the 5 filing status possibilities can be found