The Ins and Outs of Filing Your Taxes

Tax season begins in January and lasts through April 15, unless the deadline falls on a weekend or a holiday. If this is the case, the deadline is then extended until the following business day. Taxes are no one’s favorite thing to do, but they are beneficial if you’re owed money. Despite people filing taxes their entire adult lives, it’s a concept that eludes many. There are ins and outs you might not realize, and that’s why this comprehensive guide to filing your income taxes can help you understand the aspects that might confuse you.

EFile is Faster

If you have a tax return to file during the season, you might want to consider filing it online. You can print and mail your income tax return to the Internal Revenue Service, but it takes weeks longer to process and deliver a refund. E-file is the preferred way to file considering you aren’t required to send your personal information through the mail where it could be intercepted and your personal information stolen.

Direct Deposit is Faster

If you’re due a refund, the fastest way to get it is to choose direct deposit as your refund delivery method. Opting for a paper check can take a few weeks longer than having the IRS put your money directly into your bank account. All you need is your routing number and bank account number.

You Can File an Extension

If you cannot file your taxes by the filing deadline in April, you can file a tax extension. This allows you an additional six months to file your income taxes, but it does not allow you an additional six months to pay your taxes if you owe money. You must send a check with an estimated amount due when you send your refund if you know you owe. If you overpay with this check, you’ll get a refund when you do file. If you underpay, you’ll pay more when you complete your taxes.

Your extension can be mailed on the deadline day, but it must be postmarked no later than the tax filing deadline. The same rule applies if you mail your return to the IRS. It must be postmarked on or before the due date.

You Should File Even if You Don’t Need To

Not everyone needs to file an income tax return. If you don’t make more than your standard deduction, you aren’t required to file. However, you should. If you paid in taxes during the year, you might be due a refund of that money. Not filing means you lose money that’s rightfully yours. If you don’t regularly file, you can file your taxes late. No late fees are due if you are owed money, but you only have three additional years to file and still receive a refund.

Tax Forms Take Time to Arrive

Your tax forms are important. Your income taxes are wrong if they are not done with the correct forms, so you’ll need to wait until they all arrive. The law states no employer or contractor or other entity is required to send your tax forms on a certain day, but they are legally required to be postmarked by January 31. This means your tax forms could take into the first week of January to arrive.

You Might Be Able to Deduct More

Deductions are plentiful if you’re married, have kids, own a house, pay hefty medical bills, or even if you own a business. If you have questions, try using online tax filing software or contact a tax accountant. You don’t want to miss out on money that’s rightfully yours, and professional help is often required if you want to get the most bang for your buck.

Your taxes could be simple, or your taxes could be complex. Every tax return is different, and that means you might have more to your story than someone else. If you are confused, seek professional help or check the IRS website. If you file with a mistake on your return, you can always amend the return to correct it. The IRS knows mistakes happen, and they are willing to allow you a chance to amend your return if that is the case.

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