It's that time of year again: tax season. Like many of our job seekers, it may be the first time you're filing your taxes. With tax day right around the corner, we've put together a few quick tips to help you get prepared to file for the first time.
1. Collect all of your records- First thing is first, before you can file you must gather up all of your tax documents and proofs of employment. Once you have all of your documents together be sure to keep them organized and store them in a safe and secure place. This way you'll be prepared when you're ready to file. It's very important that you have all of your tax forms when you go to file because you want to make the most of your return and by law you're required to report all of your income. Trust me, there's nothing worse than making an appointment to file your taxes, only to realize when you get there that you left a form at home.
2. Choose your method for filing- Since it's your first time filing you may be a little reluctant to file your taxes on your own. If you're anything like me and you're not numerically inclined, then you may want to leave the number crunching to the pros and have a tax professional prepare your taxes for you. In that case, all you have to do is make an appointment and they'll do the rest.
The wonderful thing about filing your taxes in 2014 is all of the technological advances we have right at our fingertips. There are tons of easy to use software options you can use to file your taxes and even free apps. Now all you have to do is pull out your smartphone and within minutes your taxes are basically done. Of course, most of these options come at a cost. If you're looking to save money, (which we all are) be sure to check out the IRS free filing options; they even have a tool that will help you find the best free tax filing software for you.
3. Ask questions- Filing taxes can seem a bit overwhelming, especially for the first time. That's why you can't be afraid to ask questions and do your research. There are a lot of tax credits and deductions that you could be eligible for and you should take advantage of them. So be sure to do your research and if you have any questions reach out to a tax professional or check out some of the great online tools like the Interactive Tax Assistant. The Interactive Tax Assistant is a tool created by the IRS to answer virtually any tax-related question you may have.
With the help of these tips you should be ready to prepare your taxes without any stress. Just remember the deadline to submit your 2013 tax return is April 15, 2014 at midnight.