Each year, more and more people choose to do their own taxes from the comfort of their home. In fact, according to U.S. News, more than 27 million American taxpayers filed their tax returns online from home in 2015. If you are one of these people and have decided to do your own taxes this year, here are a few things you should consider.
Know your deductions, exemptions and tax credits
The best part about hiring a tax professional is they are well versed in all tax laws and will know automatically what deductions and exemptions you qualify for. As tax laws are changing this year, a tax professional is especially beneficial, as those who filed on their own last year will have to become educated on a whole new set of rules.
If you still decide you want to do your own taxes, it’s vital to take time out of your day to brush up on the new tax laws. Online systems can help with this, but they don’t always notice everything, so it’s always good to know for yourself. Don’t forget to deduct certain aspects of your life that qualify for a tax deduction, but be sure you aren’t deducting anything that doesn’t qualify. If you don’t follow tax laws and rules, you could risk an audit which is a stressful and frustrating process that could leave you in deep water with the IRS.
E-Filing is usually best
As we mentioned, online tax systems can walk you through a majority of the information you need for your taxes. Plus, using an e-filing service will save you time and money—they don’t require printing and are usually a very small fee compared to hiring a tax professional. For those that have a straight forward tax return, e-filing is usually a great option. But, if you own your own company, are self-employed, or even make large charitable contributions, you may find that these programs don’t offer the amount of tax support you require.
You need to start early and stay organized
A tax professional can organize your tax documents for you and will file on your behalf before deadlines hit. But, if you choose to do your taxes yourself, then you will need to consider all of these things on your own. Don’t wait until April to start thinking about your taxes. Instead, stay organized throughout the year, keeping a spreadsheet of your deductions and expenses and holding on to the receipts you plan to expense. There is always the chance that you are missing paperwork, such as a W2, so starting early will help combat any stress that comes from last minute mishaps.
If you have questions about filing your taxes, contact a tax professional like Levy Tax & Associates to learn more. Contact us at 1-800-TAX-LEVY or visit their website to learn more.