Tax season does not have to be difficult. If you keep yourself organized throughout the year and plan ahead, tax season will be an ease and you'll be a happy person, especially if you are getting a nice refund. Instead of paying big money to have your taxes done by a tax professional, use at home programs such as H&R Block At Home and TurboTax. Even though you are purchasing a program, you can still use a coupon code to get a great deal on your purchase.
1. Organize Your Tax Documents
It is an absolute must that you keep your tax documents organized. You need to create a filing system to keep track of your tax documents as they come in. If you are employed, you'll be getting tax documents from your employer. If you go to school, you'll get tax documents from your school. If you have a savings account, you'll get tax documents from your bank. You will need all of those tax documents when tax season rolls around, so be sure to keep them in one central location. A good idea is to have a file folder that is just for tax documents for that given year. Each year, create a new tax folder and you'll be good to go when it comes time to file your taxes.
2. Review Your Tax Documents
Mistakes happen. When you receive tax documents in the mail, take a few minutes to review the documents. If you are getting a W-2 form from your employer, check the form to be sure that your name, address and Social Security Number are correct. Go through your pay stubs for that tax year to make sure that your income is correct on the W-2 form. When you receive tax documents from your bank, you want to ensure that your account number is listed correctly and that your accrued interest matches the accrued interest that was reported on your bank statements. If you wait until the last minute to review your tax documents and you discover a mistake, it is going to be a pain to get the mistake corrected by April 15th.
3. Decide how You Will File
Don't wait until the last possible minute to decide whether you are going to hire a tax professional or if you are going to use an at home program. If you are looking to save time and money, go with an at home tax program. The program will take you step by step and you'll have your taxes completed in no time. Depending on the at home program package that you choose, you may even receive support in the event that you are audited. If you are filing a complex tax return and you have a ton of tax documents that need to be filed, going with a tax professional may be your best bet.