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Tax Filing Tips: What First Timers Need to Know

Tax Filing Tips: What First Timers Need to Know

By on Aug 20, 2015 in Tax Tips | 0 comments

Tax Filing Tips: What First Timers Need to Know

Completing a tax return for the first time can be overwhelming and even a bit confusing.  You understandably do not want to make a mistake that could inadvertently trigger an audit — but the fact is, you are new at this and do not yet know much about the process. Fortunately, the process does not have to be intimidating and can be quite simple for most people filing for the first time. Review these common tips for first time filers:


1. Get Organized:  Our first tip applies to all taxpayers, not just those who are completing and filing for the first time. One of the most important steps toward a straightforward and easy tax return process is to get yourself organized before you get started. From year to year, it is recommended that you put all tax documents into a file (electronic or paper) so that when it comes time to dive into your taxes, all of your materials are together. This would include your W-2s and any 1099s you receive, as well as receipts for items you may deduct.  Keep in mind that the IRS gets copies of all of these forms as well, so ignoring your tax return responsibilities will not make them go away.


2. Look into Filing Using a 1040EZ.  You can use this user friendly, simple tax form if you are single or married without dependents.  If you are a first time tax filer, chances are that this form might be the right one for you.


3. Decide How You Want to File.  You can file online or by mail.  If you file online, you will be able to track and receive your refund more quickly.  You can either take the standard deduction or itemize your deductions. It simply depends on which is better for your bottom line.


4. Think Through Possible Deductions.  There are many tax credits and deductions that you might be eligible for. Even if you plan to use the standard deduction, you will want to think this through each year to be sure that you are not leaving money on the table, so to speak.


5. File On Time.  Do not wait until the last minute to work on your taxes for the first time. Give yourself enough time to meet the April 15th deadline so that you are not subject to interest, penalties (and scrutiny) if you are late. 


6. Take Your Time and Check Your Work.  Some of the most common mistakes on tax returns are simple arithmetic errors or incorrect personal information (mistakenly transposing two numbers in your social security number for example).  So, take a few minutes before you file to review your work.  You may save yourself a big headache!


7. Do Not be Afraid to Seek Help.  If you still feel intimidated by the tax return process, or have lots of questions about how to proceed, you may be wise to seek the help of a tax professional, for this first return (and any future returns).  A reputable tax professional can take this burden off of your shoulders and makes sure that your taxes are completed on time and correctly. 


Success Tax Relief is a full service tax firm that helps taxpayers in all types of situations correctly and accurately complete their returns each year.  If you determine that you would like help with your taxes, this year, give our team a call at 1-877-825-1179 or contact us today!


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