10 Tax Tips and Other Advice for Getting a Head Start on Your Taxes!

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

help-with-taxes

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

  1. 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.
  2. Know Your Forms & Where to Find Them-  All forms and
    publications are downloadable on the
    IRS
    website
    , with the most popular forms listed along the left-hand side of
    the page.
  3. Research-

    Publication 17
    is a comprehensive collection of information for
    taxpayers which highlights everything you’ll need to know about filing a
    return.
  4. 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

    Free File
    .
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Consider

    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
    paper return.
  8. 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?
  9. Visit the
    IRS
    Website
    -
    This site has EVERYTHING and more than you’ll ever
    want to know about filing your taxes.
  10. 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
    is available

    here
    .
  • Tax advice for filing your taxes for free is available

    here
    .
  • Tax advice for people who have moved or changed address
    is available

    here
    .
  • Advice on what tax records to keep can be found

    here
    .
  • Facts about Dependents and Exemptions can be found

    here
    .
  • Help for financially distressed taxpayers can be found

    here
    .
  • Definitions of the 5 filing status possibilities can be found

    here
    .

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