Many Americans dread the April 15 tax filing deadline, and it’s not hard to see why. The U.S. tax code is longer than the Bible, and new rules and regulations are constantly added, making the process even more complex. Because of this, a lot of taxpayers are putting off filing their US taxes until the last minute. However, taking this approach introduces its own stresses and risks, from penalties and interest to simple mistakes that could trigger an audit.
To avoid burying your head in the sand on April 15th, we advise you to take a methodical and step-by-step approach to preparing and filing your taxes. Breaking taxes down into smaller and more manageable steps can make the job easier.
5 Simple Ways to File Your Taxes in 2024
Here are five simple steps you can take to complete filing your taxes in 2024.
Step 1 – Establish a Command Center
You’re likely to receive your tax documents in early January and may continue to receive them through March. It’s easy to misplace them if you’re not organized. Therefore, it’s best to create a central location to store all your tax-related documents. Establishing a command center at home makes it easier to store those papers and keep them handy.
If you have a scanner at home, you can scan each document as they come in. Create a separate folder on your computer to hold those documents. If the originals are lost or damaged, these electronic copies can be very helpful.
Step 2 – Select a Reputable Tax Preparation Service
While tax preparation professionals cannot make the process completely painless, they can make it much easier.
However, if you have multiple years of unfiled tax returns and owe money to the IRS, you may need to seek assistance from a tax resolution firm. Not all tax preparers are trained in complex tax resolutions. So it’s essential to find the right firm to help you with your unique case.
Step 3 – Input Tax Documents as They Arrive
You can take advantage of technology to efficiently file and organize your tax documents as you receive them. In many cases, you can download all your tax documents from a variety of online services. For instance, your direct deposit payroll service can provide you with your W2, while different vendors can offer statements and 1099s online. In instances where the mailman delivers a W-2 or a 1099-INT, scanning the documents as soon as you receive them is all that’s necessary.
To file your documents, simply open each document and scan it to create an electronic copy. Afterward, log in to your preferred secure cloud storage service to store your documents. Whether you receive several tax documents each day or just one, taking the time to enter the information right away can save you time and effort later on.
Step 4 – Examine Your Documents and Final Tax Return
After you have organized and prepared your tax return for filing, it is important to carefully review everything. This is to ensure that there are not any obvious problems. Review both the paper and electronic copies of your tax documents and cross-check them with your tax return. If any documents are missing or contain errors, make the necessary corrections immediately.
Step 5 – Put Everything Together
After you complete your final review and enter all your documents, it’s finally time to bring it all together and file your tax return. Your tax preparer should do a series of checks to identify errors and potential audit flags. If you discover any issues, be sure to ask any questions and address them promptly. Make sure to save a printed and electronic copy of your tax return.
Filing your taxes annually is never a fun task to do. Nevertheless, you can make the process less taxing by breaking it down into smaller steps. By following the steps outlined above, you can navigate the complexities of the tax code and manage your tax bill more effectively.
Do You Owe Back Taxes?
Our firm specializes in providing relief to people who owe $10,000 or more to the IRS or have multiple years of unfiled tax returns. We’ve seen taxpayers blindsided by hefty tax bills every year and ended up falling behind on their taxes. If you’re in a similar situation or looking for a way to ease your tax filing in 2024, we can help you. Contact us to discuss your tax debt settlement options today.