Posted by Administrator
Tax season is here and it falls upon you, the responsible citizen, to make sure you are square with Uncle Sam. For most people, it means getting a refund, but for some, it is time to pay the piper the taxes they have been setting aside for the past year.
Here are six tax tips that can help you either get your refund faster or square up and minimize what you owe:
- Hunt down your W-2s and 1099s. Your employer is required by law to get your W-2 form to you in a timely manner. For contract work for businesses, your client is required to give you a 1099 form showing what they paid you in the past year. You can’t even get past the first step of filing your taxes without these forms.
- Gather your records and receipts. Assuming you have not been very organized with your records throughout the year, get started on sorting and organizing right now. Waiting until April to start this step is just asking for trouble.
- Check the irs.gov website for updates. Tax laws change pretty fast and you will need to be able to stay on top of what’s new. For instance, this year, it is OK to make charitable donations to Haiti and claim it on your 2009 return.
- Use electronic filing, or e-file. The days of manually filling out tax forms with a pen are long gone. Get yoiur taxes done on your computer for free or for very little. Don’t have a computer? You can borrow one from a friend or rent one at an internet cafe for the hour or so it takes to enter your tax data and send it to the IRS. This also speeds up your return immensely.
- Review your work. You have plenty of time. Yes, you want your refund ASAP, but if you spend a little extra time now, double-checking your work and making sure you are getting every deduction you qualify for, you can save hundreds of dollars.
- Be calm. There are many free resources available to help you. Even if that is not enough, you can choose to use a tax preparer, but remember, the closer it gets to April 15, the harder it is to find an available CPA.
This is definitely one aspect of American life when procrastination definitely does not pay off. Make sure you remain calm but focused and try to use a computer when filing your taxes to have a better tax reconciliation experience this year.