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Attention all you money nerds! This is your season to celebrate! It’s tax season!
For the last year you’ve saved every receipt and statement in anticipation of filing your income taxes. Your perfectly labeled files are . . .
Wait. What’s that you’re saying? Your tax documents are scattered between this basket and that shoebox? You don’t even know which receipts or statements you need to file your taxes?
Local experts you can trust.Find an ELP
Don’t sweat it! We’ll have you ready to file your taxes in just a few simple steps. And, as a bonus, we’ll help you set up a simple system that will make filing next year’s taxes a breeze. Are you ready?
Let’s get started!
Step 1: Gather Documents
You don’t need every scrap of paper with a number on it to do your taxes. But the ones you will need are essential: your W-2s, 1099s, and your mortgage interest and investment income statements. These documents usually arrive by mail soon after January 31. You’ll need receipts from your childcare provider and any charities you’ve contributed to in order to claim those deductions. Some college expenses are also tax-deductible, so keep track of those documents as well. If you can’t find what you need, you can almost always request replacement copies.
Step 2: Watch the Calendar
The tax-filing deadline is April 15, and, as we mentioned, most of the tax documents you’ll need will be mailed by January 31. If you don’t receive them within a couple of weeks, get in touch with the necessary people to make sure you have these forms in plenty of time to meet the filing deadline.
Step 3: Get Organized
Separate your documents into two simple categories: income and deductions. W-2s, 1099s and investment statements fall under income. Mortgage interest forms, property tax statements, charitable giving receipts and student loan interest are all potential deductions. Put your documents for each category into separate folders so nothing gets confused.
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Step 4: Ready to File
Now that your documents are organized, you’re ready to file your taxes. But you’ve got a decision to make first. Will you self-file or hire a tax expert to do it for you? If you only have your W-2s and no complicated deductions to claim, then self-filing may be a good choice for you. But if you have multiple sources of income or you’re not sure if you should claim the standard deduction or itemize, a tax-service professional can make filling out your forms and getting your taxes filed much easier.
Step 5: All Done!
With your taxes filed, you can watch the April 15 deadline come and go with confidence. Just remember to hang on to this year’s documents for seven years.
And, with your new system in place, you’ll know just what to do with all those statements and receipts throughout the year. Next year, when tax season rolls around, you’ll be all set to file early again.
Save Time and Money by Working With a Pro
Don’t miss out on any tax deductions or credits you qualify for. Work with an experienced tax expert like one of Dave’s tax Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) and get your income taxes done right the first time. Find your ELP today!