If you’ve never filed your taxes before, it can seem like an overwhelming tax. However, once you’re 18 and make over $10,000 a year, you’re likely required to start filing. The first time that you see all of the numbers and paperwork, it may make your head spin.
However, filing your taxes doesn’t have to be something that you dread. With enough preparation and attention to detail, it can be a straightforward process.
Here are some of the best tips for making your first filing experience go well.
Gather Your Forms
The first thing you’ll need is to get your paperwork in order. You’ll need your W-2 forms from your employer. This paper outlines all the vital information like your wages and taxes withheld. If you don’t receive a W-2, then look out for a 1099-MISC if you were privately contracted.
You may additionally receive forms for any interest that you gathered in your bank or investment accounts. If you’re a student, you may receive forms outlining your education costs. It’s a good idea to do your research on what kind of forms you can expect depending on your particular set of circumstances. Once you have everything you need, you can get started on putting it all together.
Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
The good news is that there are many tax breaks available if you know how to play your cards right. Your marital status, military status, and your education status may benefit you.
You may also qualify for substantial credits if you have children. The more children that you have, particularly if you’re filing as head of household, the more favorable of a tax break you’ll get.
Don’t Forget State Taxes
Along with filing your federal taxes, you may also need to pay state taxes depending on where you live. The laws may vary from state to state, so it’s a good idea to verify whether your state requires taxes or not.
You may not want to file your taxes right away out of fear that you will owe money. Unfortunately, this leads to people procrastinating and finding themselves stressed and panicked with one day to spare before taxes are due.
Rather than leaving everything until the last minute and scrambling desperately to send it by the mid-April deadline, why not save yourself the stress?
Try to file as early as possible. You’ll be able to take your time and verify that there aren’t any mistakes which could get you into trouble later. If you’re unsure about what you’re doing, you’ll find plenty of tax software programs which will easily walk you through the process.