Filing your taxes early helps you receive your refund faster or allows you extra time to pay taxes you may owe. Filing early can also help prevent scammers from pocketing your refund and filing a fraudulent tax return. A fraudulent tax return occurs when the IRS receives two different returns filed under the same Social Security Number. Filing early can help mitigate the possibility of a scammer stealing your information and taking advantage of you.
We’ve put together a guide to help you determine if self-tax preparation is the right choice for you and help you get to filing now.
1. Understand the Deadlines.
The federal tax filing deadline is on April 18, 2022 for most taxpayers. You may also request an extension before this date. Taxpayers requesting an extension have until October 17, 2022, to file once the extension is accepted.
2. Gather All Needed Documents & Review Last Year’s Documents.
Gather all forms that you will need to file. These may include:
W-2s, which will report wages from your employer(s).
1099s, which will report income from various sources, such as dividends, interest, retirement distributions, unemployment, rents, etc.
1098s, which report any payments that may be tax-deductible.
3. Determine Whether to Claim Standard or Itemized Deductions.
You may choose to claim the standard deduction or itemized deductions when filing. Claiming the standard deduction is typically easier. However, if you experienced any large medical expenses, experienced large losses, or any other qualifying events, you may want to consider itemizing your deductions. Tax preparation software, like those provided by TurboTax or H&R Block will help you enter all the information needed to determine whether to claim standard or itemized deductions.
4. Don’t Forget to File State Taxes.
Once you complete your federal tax return, you may need to file your state return. Tax filing software like TurboTax and H&R Block will allow you to file your state return right from your computer.
5. Review Everything Before Hitting “Submit.”
Don’t forget to double check all of your entries before you submit your tax return. A typo could hold up your return if missed.
6. File Electronically.
Filing your tax return electronically is convenient and the quickest way to receive a tax refund. Plus, filing electronically on a personal device helps to keep your information more secure than mailing your returns.
7. Ensure Your Return was Received.
Once finished with your return submission, check to make sure the IRS received it. Some tax preparation software will allow you to sign up for email or text updates so you can track your return.
Are you ready to start filing your taxes? Christian Financial Credit Union Members can enjoy special savings when they file with TurboTax or H&R Block. Learn how you can get your biggest refund possible today.
*Please note this article is not considered tax advice, please contact your certified CPA for tax information and advice.