Tax season is in and we don’t want to waste precious time and effort chasing after deadlines. The best thing to do is to prepare early. You don’t have to go through all the stresses of filling-up forms, calculating amounts, and finding relevant documents in a short amount of time. Do these three simple steps as soon as possible to minimize a lot of panics and make the tax filing process easier.
Organize Your Records and Documents
Consider your status as a taxpayer to find out which relevant documents or records are important for your taxes. The IRS Tax Guide will help you identify the relevant resources you need according to your employment or status. A business owner will need different sets of records compared to a regular employee, or a student.
Whether these records may be in paper or electronic form, it is helpful for you to have them all in one place ready to be retrieved during your filing process.
For paper documents, organize, label, and file them accordingly for easy retrieval once you need them. For the electronic records, you may want to regularly check your email for the W-2s that will surely begin to arrive in your inbox. Once you receive these emails, be sure to keep them in a safe place. The worst thing to do is moving your W-2 and even your 1099s (if your self-employed) from your primary inbox into your junk mail or even deleting them!
You also need to organize your emails so that you don’t have to deal with heaps of emails and scrutinizing through each one just to look for that W-2 that was electronically sent to you.
This kind of alertness is crucial for your safety. You should know that tax scams usually come in the form of cheaters who would use your Social Security information to process a tax return and your account is where the amount is charged. Vigilance is important during the tax filing season and keeping an eye on your mailboxes is one good step to begin with.
Take Advantage of E-filing
Technology has opened up more comfortable ways to process things including the filing of tax returns. You may start filing as soon as you can, and the most convenient, secure, and rapid way to do it is through an E-file.
When your W-2 and other tax documents and records are ready, you may start accomplishing your tax duties. You can also get rid of the stresses brought by going with the majority of filing starting on January 23. Early processing of tax requirements means you have the chance to get your refund in as early as 10 days when IRS begins to process it. If you decide to get your tax refund directly through the bank, you can have it in 21 days.
A recent change in the process which is worth to know is IRS will be holding the whole amount of your tax refund until February 15, the very least. This is when you choose to request the benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). Though your tax return is clean and no conflict is found, you should still wait until February 27 or even later before your refund comes. More so if you opted to receive your money through direct deposit. All taxpayers who will receive these benefits will have to wait for this time frame whether you file it correctly or not and whether who are you filing it with. IRS’s reason is actually to your advantage. You have to be patient with it or endure the potential of being a victim of identity stealers or tax refund fraud.
Choose Direct Bank Deposit
When you avail of E-filing you also get to choose a better way to get your money fast and secure. You can provide you bank details so that your refund goes directly into your bank account. That means less hassle with having to wait for your check to arrive and go through more waiting as you encash it. You also don’t need to spend more time and effort having to go to the bank.
There are also some limitations related to direct deposits. First, you cannot direct deposit your refund into a foreign account. IRS will also not allow more than three refunds into one bank account in one year. The fourth refund will be delivered to you as a check. As its advantage, you may choose from 2 to 3 different bank accounts within the country to deposit your tax refund.
Generally, the way to get on track with your tax responsibilities is to start and finish as soon as possible. You can process your documents with less stress because the deadline is far ahead.
You also give yourself as much protection from tax crooks. They will have difficulty snatching your tax identity when you file early. However, when the worst happens and someone illegally used your Social Security information, you would have to go through months of proving yourself as the true owner before you can get your refund. You might think it will not happen to you, but it’s better safe than sorry.
So, don’t linger before you start organizing your records and related documents according to the Tax Guide, using E-filing for more convenience, and choosing to receive your refund through a direct deposit. You can finish everything in one sitting if you have the complete resources and the will to get it through.