Paying your taxes is bottom of everybody’s list of things that they’re excited about every year. It’s hours of filling out forms so you can find out how much money you’ve got to pay out. Unfortunately, everybody has to do it; otherwise, you will get yourself in trouble and most likely end up paying out more in fines for being late. If you make any mistakes, the IRS is not going to give you the benefit of the doubt either, you could be accused of doing it on purpose to try to reduce your tax bill and that will result in a hefty fine as well. The problem is, when there are so many bits to remember, it’s actually fairly easy to make a genuine mistake. To stop that from happening, simply follow this checklist of everything that you’ll need.
The first and easiest section of the return is your personal information. All you’ll need for this section is your name, address, and other required personal information, which, I hope isn’t going to cause you too much trouble. Then you need social security numbers. Remember that it isn’t just your own that you need, you need the social security number of your spouse if you’re married and any dependents that are living in the house with you.
This is where things start to get a bit more complicated and you’ll need a whole lot more information. Luckily, your employer should be providing all of this. Your w2 forms give the majority of the details about your earnings for the year; remember to get your spouses as well if you are filing your returns together. What people often forget are the IRS forms 1099 that give details of any bonuses and overtime that you’ve been paid for. If you don’t include this, you could be caught out for trying to get some of that money through without declaring it.
On top of this, you need any details of tax refunds that you’ve been paid in the past year, any money that you earned from businesses that you run and any money that you’ve been paid from government assistance programs.
Working out your income adjustments is important because you could be due a tax refund. Quite a few things come under income adjustment so make sure that you are thorough. Include information on homebuyer tax credits, green energy credits, student loan interest repayments and IRA contributions. All of these are income adjustments and they might make you eligible for a tax refund.
As well as income adjustments, you need to look at things that are tax deductible because they can also help you get a refund. Lots of the costs of raising children count as tax deductible so include education costs, childcare costs, and adoption costs if they apply to your family. If you have donated any money to charity, that’s tax deductible as well. Any losses you’ve made through theft can be added as well so at least there’s a silver lining to that cloud.
The final thing you need to include on your tax return is your bank account details so they can pay that refund directly into your account when it’s ready.