Spring means warmer weather and a new beginning. But it also means tax season. Read about some helpful tips for how to prepare for tax season and make this year’s filing a breeze.

Get Ready to Do Your Taxes

Know which forms you’ll need.

W-2, W-4, 1040, 1099, and so many more. There are different types of tax forms required for different types of jobs. Your employer should mail the appropriate form to you sometime after January 1. If you don’t have anything by March, you should probably ask your employer for them. It’s also wise to keep all of your tax forms in one place.

Decide how you wish to file.

You can take your tax forms to a tax preparation service or do them yourself. Most tax preparation companies charge a fee (which can eat up a large chunk of your return), but there are places who have volunteers who will do it for you for free.

If you wish to do it yourself, there are many easy-to-use online services that will walk you through the process step-by-step.

Make a list of your credits and deductions.

There are many things that can count as tax credits or serve as deductions from your taxes, such as having a child, buying a house, getting married, or donating to charity. Make a list of all your potential deductions to maximize your savings.  

Be prepared to pay.

It’s possible that you might receive a nice refund after filing your taxes. But it’s also possible that you might end up owing money to the government. There are several things that can help determine this but the main factor is how many taxes were taken out of your paycheck throughout the year. Have more taken out throughout the year and you can typically expect a refund. Have less taken out from each paycheck and you’ll likely have to pay up after you file.

Taxes can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place in case you end up owing some money.

Be aware of your options.

Your taxes must be filed by April 15, 2019. However, a 6-month extension is available if you think you will not be able to complete your filing by April 15. There are also payment plans and other forms of relief if you don’t think you’ll be able to pay your taxes all at once or on time.

Add Something Extra to Your Tax Return

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