How to easily file taxes in the States


How to easily file taxes in the States

Doing taxes can be a daunting task especially if you earn income from multiple sources. Sometimes, being organized when it comes to your financial documents is not enough to make the filing process easy. You might also need the help of tax preparation software or hire a professional to simplify the process.

Take a look at how you can file US taxes easier by reading below:

Get your previous copies of tax returns

If you have already filed your taxes last year but can no longer remember how to do it, revisiting your previous tax documents can be helpful. Review the documents carefully and take note of any changes that should be made.

List your sources of income

Make a list of all your sources of income over the past year. For each source, you will need at least one document such as:

  • W-2: W-2s is the document you need to prepare if you are working as an employee
  • 1099: 1099 is used if you have done your work as an independent contractor
  • Receipt: If you have business sales, rentals, royalties and others, you need to present a receipt
  • Benefit statements: If you have unemployment benefits or you are receiving money from Social Security, you need to prepare your benefit statements

Prepare other documentation that can help you save

Those who are pursuing higher education or making student loan payments can earn tax credits and deductions that will help you save. Take a look at the following files you need to prepare for certain tax deductions or credits:

  • American Opportunity Credit: To get this credit, you need to prepare your tuition statements or receipts for required books and equipment for your school
  • Lifetime Learning Credit: Same as above, you will also need your tuition statements and school-related receipts to be eligible for this credit.
  • Student loan interest: Get the Form 1098-E from the lender that services your student loan

File your taxes online

You can fill out your tax forms by hand but using an online tax preparation service will let you do that quicker and easier. Check the IRS’s online lookup tool to see free file programs that you can use. You will need to verify your identity so make sure to prepare your valid ID and Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). If you already filed your taxes the previous year, you can find your AGI on line 37 of your 1040 form.

Hire a tax professional

If you can’t file your taxes on your own, you can hire a tax professional to do it for you. Hiring one can help you if:

  • You have never filed a tax return
  • You have a major change in your income last year
  • You own a business
  • You have retired
  • You bought or sold a property last year

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