taxes

How to Get Your Taxes Done Right

Taxes. If you're like most, you're not a big fan of this five-letter word. While it's true that income tax preparation can be frustrating and complicated, knowing these basics can save you money, time, and stress.

  1. 1) Understand Taxable Income

    The amount of taxes you pay is based on your taxable income rather than your total income. Reducing taxable income means you pay less come tax time.

  2. 2) Don't Miss Any Tax Deductions

    Because deductions reduce your taxable income, the more deductions you have the less you'll owe in taxes. That means you don't want to miss any if you're itemizing. Download our Tax Preparation Checklist to make sure you've got everything you need.

  3. 3) Take Advantage of Tax Credits

    Tax credits are a big deal because they reduce your tax bill dollar for dollar, rather than just reducing your taxable income. Find a good tax pro in your area to help you take advantage of every possible credit like child care or small business expenses.

  4. 4) Pay Attention to Your Withholdings

    Withholdings are a percentage of your paycheck your employer sets aside to cover your taxes. We recommend adjusting your withholdings so you break even. You won't get a big refund from the IRS but you won't send them a huge check.

  5. 5) Determine If You Need a Tax Pro

    If your tax situation is simple, you may be able to handle it on your own. Once your financial life gets a little more complicated though, having a pro check for every possible deduction and credit is worth it. Take our Tax Quiz to find out if you need a tax pro.

Read More
Show More

Hear From the Experts

Keep $14,000 Student Loan For Tax Deduction?

Watch More Videos

Tax Deductible Giving

Dave explains why it’s important to fully understand that giving money to a friend isn't tax deductible unless he's a certified, non-profit organization.

Read Transcript
Listen to More Clips

Keep more of your money and save yourself the hassle of tax preparation.

Taxes Made Easy

Get the Checklist

Get Your Taxes Done

Find a Tax Pro

Get Your Taxes Done

Work with a pro and file stress-free this year.

Work with a pro and file stress-free this year.

Find a Tax Pro

Thank You!

Your checklist is on its way to .

Next: Start Your Year Off Right!