Many tax payers wait until the tax season has started before they start to gather their tax documents. By starting to gather your documents now, you can avoid last minute rushes, paying penalties on filing late, and getting a faster refund.
Below are some easy ways to get started with your taxes before the April deadline rolls around:
- Gather your records in advance.Make sure you have all the records you need, including W-2s and 1099s. Don’t forget to save a copy for your files.
- Get the right forms and read the publications. They’re available around the clock on IRS.gov in the Forms and Publications section.
- Take your time.Rushing through your taxes can easily lead to a mistake. Be sure to start a pot of coffee and take breaks when filling out your return. I can’t stress enough that rushing can mean making a mistake — and that can be expensive!
- Double-check your math and Social Security number. These are among the most common errors on tax returns. Taking care on these reduces your chances of hearing from the IRS. One of the most common mistakes that I have seen is when parents transpose social security numbers incorrectly.
- Get the fastest refund. When you file early, you get your refund faster. Using e-filing with direct deposit gets you a refund in half the time as paper filing.