Tax season is a stressful time of the year. Some common mistakes made when filing taxes include not putting down the right amount of dependents, not having receipts for deductions, and not using a good tax agent or tax software. Yet a lot of these are critical issues can be avoided by following these easy steps listed below. Here are some tips to follow when e-filing your taxes online:
1. E-file online
Options like e-filing taxes online give you the option to do your taxes at your leisure. If you are going to go this route, it’s best to use a secure VPN to protect your personal information and go with a reputable tax filer like TurboTax. This way you can make sure that mistakes are kept to a minimum, your personal data is protected, and you get the most out of your return. You can e-file on your own but if you have a lot of things going on with your tax return, then it might be a good idea to speak with a tax professional. You do have the option of going through free organizations like the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) group. This is a group that offers free help with tax preparation and it’s run by the IRS.
2. Keep track of deductions
Deductions are not the only thing that you need to keep track of. Deductions are, however, very important if you have your own business or are self-employed and want them to lower your taxable income. For example, a self-employment deduction can be internet bills, equipment like a professional camera, or any number of things. It’s generally a good idea to keep electronic receipts of the things that you want to deduct, just in case.
3. Know which form to use
This may seem like common sense, but this mistake does happen. A lot of people are so used to filing with a 1040 EZ form that they think that is the only one to use. If you are going from having a full time job to being self-employed you’ll have to use the 1099 form. The IRS has a list of all the forms that you can use and who should be filing with them. It is best to take a look at their website to see the various forms and how they affect different tax filers.
4. Prepare early
A good tax plan can prevent a lot of problems. Most people like to wait until the last minute and that is fine for most. If you know that you plan on making a lot of deductions make sure that everything is being properly stored. The same goes for other things that are on your taxes that are unique (i.e., real estate).
5. Protect your privacy
Tax season is very stressful and a good plan can prevent a lot of these stressful situations. When e-filing it’s best to go with use a VPN or to avoid a public wifi network altogether to protect your private information (income, address, banking info, Social Security Number, etc.) and to file with a reputable tax service that offers encryption. Deductions are vast so getting the right help with them can be crucial. You can go with a paid tax pro or use a free service like the VITA group. Following these steps should make tax season a little more bearable.