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, make sure you know the ones you're eligible for. Common deductions include giving, healthcare expenses and the interest you pay on your mortgage. Download our Tax Preparation Checklist to make sure you aren't missing anything.

  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

    It doesn't take much for taxes to become too complicated for the average person. If your situation is simple, you may be able to handle it on your own. Keep in mind tax pros can find deductions and credits you might have missed. Take our Tax Quiz to find out whether you need a tax pro!

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

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