What is a Tax Season?
The tax season is one of the most important- and most stressful events for every taxpayer or business owner. The preparation, complexity of the tax code and having to prepare a check to the government could really cause a headache. However, there are strategies and tips available to survive through the tax season. Here are 10 helpful tips that will help you have a smooth and easier tax preparation.
10 helpful tips for Tax Preparation
1. Don’t procrastinate in filing a tax return.
Like any project, beating the deadline can be really stressful and could affect greatly to the preparation of your tax return. Important tax forms will begin to arrive at the end of January, so get ready to file all the other documents you’ll need such as receipts, tax statements, mortgage and other paperwork. Once done, you can easily start filing your tax return.
2. Avoid being audited
Many taxpayers are afraid of being audited by the IRS compared to having someone else file their tax return. Ensure that you stay organized and consider tax audit protection if you think you have an unusual return. Watch out for this warning signs- this means you are likely to get audited.
3. Use tax filing software
There is numerous tax filing software that is available online- aside from an easier tax preparation, these tax filing software also offers protection for businesses. Software such as TaxSlayer, TurboTax and H&R block can help you prepare and file your tax returns. Take note that not all of this software is free.
4. Identity protection
If you had an Identity Protection Pin or IP PIN in the past, then you must provide this number on your tax return not only for this year but on all future tax returns. This 6-digit number is very important because it helps prevent fraudulent returns from being filed under your Social Security number. Always take note that this PIN is needed for IRS to be able to accept your tax return, and also it changes every year.
5. Health Insurance
You also need to report your health insurance to the IRS. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 already removed this penalty for not having a health insurance, but it’s not yet effective until you file your 2019 taxes in 2020. What you need to do is to check the box that indicates you had health care coverage for the whole of 2017. If otherwise, or you received advance payments of the premium tax credit on the marketplace, then you need to fill out Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions, and Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, to accomplish your tax return.
6. Separate your tax filing from your personal life
As much as possible, don’t do your taxes while doing other personal things. Find a quiet place or office that can accommodate all the paperwork you need to work on your tax return. This is to avoid distraction and also to avoid distracting your personal life too.
7. Get all the information from the IRS website and toll-free number
Utilize the IRS website- you can get almost all the information from there. By having access to the website, you’ll have access to tax forms, answers to tax topics and latest tax publications. If you prefer to talk to someone, you can have a phone call to the IRS through their toll-free number (1-800-829-1040) between 7:00 am – 7:00 pm.
“Applying this tips will help you get through the tax season and tax preparation is not that super complicated as you think- as long as you are prepared early, you can definitely survive the tax season.”