9 tips to help you file your federal income taxes

If you haven't filed your taxes yet, try adding some of these tips to your tax preparation this season to make filing easier.

News 12 Staff

Mar 25, 2021, 5:00 PM

Updated 1,205 days ago

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9 tips to help you file your federal income taxes
The deadline for individuals to file and pay most federal income taxes are extended to May 17, 2021 due to the pandemic.
If you haven't filed yet, try adding some of these tips to your tax preparation this season to make filing easier:

BEFORE YOU FILE

1. Make sure you’ve accounted for all income. For those who simply work one job, your W2 will be all you need. If you take in income from another source, like renting a property, freelancing, or selling and reselling items, this income must also be noted in your taxes.
2. Compile all necessary documents. This includes things like income statements, donation receipts, and more.
3. Do your homework. Read up on the updates to the taxes to make sure you’re familiar with them and fully understand what they’ll mean as you file.
How will the pandemic affect doing your taxes this year? Here's what you need to know before filing

WHILE YOU’RE FILING

4. Start earlier. Giving yourself as much time as possible will give you time to correct any mistakes, as well as peace of mind knowing your taxes are all done!
5. Consider all deductions. Carefully go through the list of possible deductions, and you may be surprised to learn that you’re eligible for ones like homeowner expenses, student loan interest, or charitable contributions.
6. If you’re confident you’ll receive a refund, file your taxes online. This can shorten the time it takes for the government to process your return. Plus, you can have the IRS directly deposit the refund into your bank account to cut even more time! Learn more about it here.

AFTER YOU FILE

7. Eager to receive your refund? Know when it’s coming with certainty by tracking your refund of both your state and federal refund online. Click the links below to track your refund:
8. Give your future self a hand and prepare for next year’s taxes by considering any and all missteps you experienced this year that made filing your taxes more difficult. For example, making an appointment with a personal accountant, keeping better track of important documents, and updating the amount of tax withheld from your paycheck in the upcoming year can make filing next year that much easier.
9. Digitize your documents! You probably know how helpful compiling your documents is, but digitizing them will be a real game-changer for next year. You can use a scanner or a mobile app to upload them to your computer.


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