April 18th fast approaching, it’s time to start the tax filing process
that we all know and love. This tax season, if you are planning to get
assistance from a tax preparer or even if you’re planning to do the leg work
yourself, Better Business Bureau, along with the Internal Revenue Service
recommend following these top ten tax filing tips.
gathering your records: Round up any
documents or forms you’ll need when filing your taxes: receipts, canceled
checks and other documents that support income or deductions you’re claiming on
on the lookout: W-2s and 1099s should
have arrived by now and you’ll need these to file your tax return.
Free File: Let Free File do the hard work for you with
brand-name tax software or online fillable forms. Everyone can find an option
to prepare their tax return and e-file it for free. If you made $58,000 or
less, you qualify for free tax software that is offered through a
private-public partnership with manufacturers. If you made more or are
comfortable preparing your own tax return, there's Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic
versions of IRS paper forms.
IRS e-file: After 21 years, IRS
e-file has become the safe, easy and most common way to file a tax return. According
to the IRS, 70 percent of taxpayers used IRS e-file. Starting in 2011,
many tax preparers will be required to use e-file and will explain your filing
options to you. This is your chance to give it a try. IRS e-file is approaching
1 billion returns processed safely and securely. If you owe taxes, you have
payment options to file immediately and pay by the tax deadline. Best of all,
combine e-file with direct deposit and you get your refund in as few as 10
other filing options: There are many
different options for filing your tax return. You can prepare it yourself or go
to a tax preparer. You may be eligible for free face-to-face help at an IRS
office or volunteer site. Give yourself time to weigh all the different options
and find the one that best suits your needs.
Direct Deposit: If you elect to have
your refund directly deposited into your bank account, you’ll receive it faster
than waiting for a paper check.
the IRS website again and again:
The official IRS
website is a great place to find everything you’ll need to file your tax
return: forms, publications, tips, answers to frequently asked questions and
updates on tax law changes.
this number: 17: Check out IRS Publication 17. It’s
a comprehensive collection of information for taxpayers highlighting everything
you’ll need to know when filing your return.
Review! Review! Don’t rush. Be sure
to double-check all the Social Security Numbers and math calculations on your
return as these are the most common errors made by taxpayers.
panic! If you run into a problem,
remember the IRS is here to help. Try www.irs.gov
or call toll-free at 800-829-1040 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 800-829-1040 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
when seeking the assistance of a tax preparer, always get referrals from
friends and family on who they use and check the BBB Business Review on tax
preparation services at www.bbb.org.
more advice on finding professionals you can trust and for filing your taxes
accurately, visit www.bbb.org and www.irs.gov.