1. Gather all necessary tax documents:
It is essential that taxpayers collect all of the necessary documents and forms prior to filing before the April 15th deadline. Taxpayers should be sure to include last year’s tax return, any W-2 and 1099 income statements, Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and other documentation of income. If a taxpayer is self-employed or has rental property, additional documents may be necessary.
2. Calculate your total taxable income:
Taxpayers must accurately calculate their total amount of taxable income for the year in order to determine how much they owe in taxes and whether they are eligible for certain deductions and credits.
3. Determine which tax bracket you fall into:
Taxpayers should determine their adjusted gross income and find out which tax bracket they are in. This will help them calculate the percentage of taxes owed on their income, as well as decide if they should itemize deductions or take the standard deduction.
4. Collect proof of deductions and credits:
If a taxpayer is eligible for certain deductions or credits, they must have documentation to prove it. This can include charitable donations, medical expenses, childcare costs, home mortgage interest payments, and other items.
5. Complete the appropriate forms:
Taxpayers must determine which tax forms they need to complete in order to properly file their taxes. Common forms include 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ.
6. File your taxes!
Taxpayers can either file their own returns electronically or paper copy them to the IRS by the April 15th deadline. Taxpayers should keep a copy of their return for their records.
7. Pay taxes owed:
Taxpayers must pay any taxes they owe by the April 15th deadline. Taxpayers can choose to pay electronically or mail a check to the IRS.
8. Receive your refund (if applicable):
If taxpayers are eligible for a refund, they should receive it within a few weeks of filing their return. Taxpayers can check the status of their return by using the Where's My Refund? tool on the IRS website.