Average American spends 14 hours preparing their taxes yearly. If you’re looking to save some time and money on your return, you can do a few things.
Filing taxes can be complicated and time-consuming, but there are ways to make it easier.
Taking advantage of some simple tips can save money and time on your tax return. Furthermore, you can let the experts do it and hire one of the highest-rated CPA firms in New York to do it for you. This can make a huge difference, as dealing with the IRS can be very stressful.
Here are some tips for saving time and money on your income tax return:
The earlier you start gathering your tax documents, the better. This will give you plenty of time to track any missing forms or receipts. Waiting until the last minute to gather your paperwork will only increase your stress levels.
There are a variety of tax forms available, and it’s essential to know which one you need to use. If you need more clarification, ask your accountant or tax preparer. Using the wrong form can result in errors and delay your refund or penalties.
For instance, Form 1040 is the most common form used by individual taxpayers. However, if you have a simpler tax situation, you can use Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A.
One way to save money on your taxes is to take advantage of deductions and credits. These can reduce the amount of taxes you owe.
There are a variety of deductions and credits available, so it’s essential to do your research to see which ones you qualify for. Some common deductions include those charitable donations, home office expenses, and medical expenses.
Ask your accountant or tax preparer if you need clarification on what deductions or credits you can claim. They will be able to help you maximize your return.
Filing your taxes electronically is the simplest and most efficient way to file. Using the IRS Free File, you can e-file your federal and state taxes for free.
E-filing is fast, safe, and secure. It’s also the best way to ensure that your tax return is accurate. If you make a mistake on your paper return, it will need to be corrected and refiled, which can cause delays in processing.
If you’re uncomfortable e-filing your taxes, you can still file them electronically using tax preparation software. This option is available to taxpayers of all income levels.
Identity theft is a growing problem, and tax season is a prime time for scammers. The IRS reports more than 1 million reports of identity theft each year.
There are steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft.
First, never give out personal information such as your Social Security number or bank account number unless you’re sure the person you’re dealing with is legitimate.
Second, be cautious of phishing scams. These are emails or websites that impersonate the IRS in an attempt to steal your personal information. The IRS will never contact you via email or text message, so if you receive one of these messages, do not respond.
Third, file your taxes early. This will minimize the chances of someone else filing a tax return in your name.
Contact the IRS immediately if you think you may be a victim of identity theft.
If you have dependents, you can claim them on your tax return. This can help reduce your taxes owed.
To claim a dependent, the person must meet specific criteria. They must be related to you, live with you, and not provide more than half of their support. Additionally, they must be younger than 19 (or 24 if they are a full-time student).
If you need clarification on whether someone meets a dependent’s criteria, ask your accountant or tax preparer. They will be able to advise you on who you can claim.
A variety of tax-advantaged accounts can help you save money on your taxes. These include retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s, health savings, and flexible spending accounts.
Contributing to these accounts can help reduce your taxes owed. For instance, contributions to a traditional IRA are tax-deductible, while withdrawals are taxed at your marginal tax rate. This can result in significant tax savings over time.
Your employer withholds taxes from your paycheck based on the information you provide on your W-4 form. If you claim more allowances, less taxes will be withheld. Conversely, if you claim fewer allowances, more taxes will be withheld.
Withholding too much in taxes can result in a large refund come tax time. While this may seem reasonable, it’s giving the government an interest-free loan. It’s better to have the money in your pocket throughout the year to invest it or use it as you see fit.
On the other hand, withholding too little in taxes can result in a tax bill come April. To avoid this, make sure your withholding is accurate. You can use the IRS’s withholding calculator to help you determine the right amount to withhold.
If you need more confidence in preparing your taxes, consider getting professional help. This is especially beneficial if you have a complex tax situation.
Many tax professionals are available, such as certified public accountants (CPAs) and enrolled agents (EAs). They can help you maximize your return and file your taxes correctly.
While there is a cost associated with hiring a professional, it’s often worth it when you consider the time and money they can save you. In addition, they can help you avoid common mistakes that could result in a tax bill.
When choosing a tax professional, ensure they’re reputable and have experience dealing with your tax situation.