Working on your taxes for the first time can be a harrowing experience. For many young people, beginning to file their taxes is the first real ‘grown-up’ activity that they do. However, filing taxes doesn’t have to be scary adventure into the unknown. By following these tax tips for new filers, the process can become much easier and reduce your stress during tax time!
Organization is Key
Staying organized before and during tax time is a huge advantage for first-time filers. If you’re not entirely sure what that means, that’s okay! It’s easy to stay organized with the right mindset and a little bit of forethought. That’s part of the reason why staying organized is one of best tax tips for new filers!
Keep the Forms Together
As a new filer, there won’t be a lot of forms to keep track of, but making sure that the ones you do have are all in one place is a huge asset. The most typical forms to have when you’re filing for the first time are the W-2 and 1099’s. As soon as you have these, put them in a safe place like a folder or filing cabinet until you’re ready to file. Having receipts and documentation is also useful, especially if you plan on having deductions or tax write-offs. By having these forms ready, you can provide proof of any benefits your claiming as well as make it easier to think of what you need to add to any taxes you file.
Remember the Deadline!
A lot of tax-time stress and disorganized filing comes from waiting until the last minute to file. Even though the deadline for filing taxes is April 15th each year, try to get your taxes done while they’re fresh on your mind.
Although it may seem tempting to put off doing your taxes or to tell yourself that you’re considering all of your options, having your taxes done on time is a big deal and should be handled as soon as possible. If you really are considering your options, try to do it before your taxes need to be filed and leave yourself plenty of time before April 15th.
Take Advantage of Technology
Taking advantage of living in a technologically advanced age is a great tax tip for new filers. Whether it’s online or mobile, filing taxes and calculating deductions is simple with the proper tools. You’ll probably get your return faster too!
With apps becoming more and more popular, companies have actually developed tax software that you can file with your phone such as the SnapTax app. This app is great for new filers that don’t have complicated taxes! This app has you take a picture of your W-2 form, answer a few questions, and then you’re ready to file.
For first-time filers that are unsure about mobile apps or don’t have the technology necessary to use them, online taxes are also a great option. By doing your taxes online, this tax tip for new filers, can save you time and prevent any mathematical errors that might occur from trying to do your taxes by hand.
A huge benefit of this method of filing is that instead of the 8 week waiting period that occurs with traditional filing, you can get your return in as little as 21 days.
Free to File
A tax tip for new filers that often gets overlooked is that, as a first-time filer, you can actually have free federal tax filing available. This is a good alternative to look into, since you’ll know for a fact that it’s done correctly and that nothing was missed.
Often, new filers are unsure of what deductions, if any, that they’re supposed to get when they file. However, knowing what deductions are available is one of the most important tax tips for new filers. Here’s some common deductions to keep an eye on this tax season!
Depending on Dependents
If you have a child, you can file them as a dependent. But even if you don’t, you might still be able to get this deduction. If you have a friend that stays at your place and you provide food and pay the bills, you can actually deduct this person from your taxes! However, in order to claim them, they have to have been living with you for at least 6 months out of the year.
If you chose to get an advanced education from college, it might pay off sooner than you think! You can collect deductions from books, tuition, and other necessary school expenses which will give you extra money on your return when every little bit counts.
By keeping these tax tips for new filers in mind, it won’t be taxing at all to file your taxes this year!