Online tax filing is the fastest way to get your income tax return filed, and the fastest way to receive your tax refund online. It also affords you the industry’s highest standards for security, quick and easy steps in completing the your tax return online, virtually error free in its calculations, and official notification by the IRS within 48 hours that your Tax Return has been filed.
Benefits of Tax Filing :
- The most common benefit was that respondents found it to be more efficient, indicating that e-filing saved them both time and money.
- The second-most- mentioned benefit was the reduced number of errors, attributable to the one-time entry of figures and the checks performed by preparation software.
- Another benefit of e-filing was that it enabled e-filers to be more productive, presumably because it saves on paperwork costs, makes it easier to correct errors, which helps you to file your return smoothly and getting Fast Tax Refund.
Reviewing your entire tax return to be sure it is accurate and complete is a good idea. Even a simple mistake can cause problems with your tax return, which might lead to delays in processing your return and receiving your refund.
Common Tax Filing Errors to Avoid
- Use the peel-off label. You may line through and make necessary corrections right on the label. Be sure to fill in your Social Security number in the box provided on the return. It is not on the label.
- If you do not have a peel-off label, fill in all requested information clearly, including the Social Security numbers.
- Check only one filing status on the tax return and check the appropriate exemption boxes. Enter the correct Social Security number for each of those exemptions. Make sure the writing is legible. Incorrect or missing SSNs will cause a delay in the processing of the tax return.
- If you claim the Child Tax Credit, be sure you subtract last year’s advance payment amount when figuring the Credit. Use the worksheet in the instructions for Forms 1040 or 1040A or in IRS Publication 972, Child Tax Credit.
- Use the correct Tax Table column for your filing status.
- Double check all figures on the return. Math errors are a common mistake.
- Make sure that the financial institution routing and account numbers you have entered on the return for a direct deposit of your refund are accurate. Incorrect numbers can cause the refund to be delayed or misdirected.
- Sign and date the return. If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return.
- Attach all Forms W-2, 1099-R and others that reflect tax withheld to the front of the return. If you are also filing a Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, attach that to the front of the tax return. Attach all other necessary forms and schedules in the order as listed in the attachment sequence order in the upper right corner of each form or schedule.
- Do you owe tax? If so, enclose a check or money order made payable to the United States Treasury and Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, with the return. Or, you may choose to pay by credit card by contacting one of the credit card service providers. If you file electronically, you may authorize the U.S. Treasury to withdraw the payment directly from your bank account.
Tax Filing Tips to Make Filing Easier this Year
Record Keeping Tips
When tax time comes around, do you dig frantically through piles of papers looking for the documentation you need to prepare your tax returns? Are you unsure about which records you should keep and which ones you can safely throw away?
Why not make your life easier and ensure that you don’t miss any deductions, by organizing your record keeping system early in the year and keeping it up-to-date?
Why Should I Keep Records?
Not only does having organized records make it easier and less frustrating for you to file your tax return, it also enables you to explain an item on your return that the IRS might question, and could prevent you from having to pay additional taxes and penalties for unsubstantiated items.
What Records Should I Keep?
Your checkbook can help you remember income and expenses that should be reported on your tax return, but the checkbook and cancelled checks alone aren’t sufficient documentation to prove the deductibility of an expense.
In addition to proof of payment (cancelled checks, credit card receipts), you also need invoices, receipts, sales slips, or other written documentation that spells out exactly what you paid for.
Deductions that you need to document may include alimony, charitable contributions, mortgage interest, child care expenses, and real estate taxes. If you make payments in cash, get a dated and signed receipt showing the amount and a description.
To prove that you correctly claimed income from investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, you need to be able to determine your basis and whether you have a gain or loss when you sell. Your records should show the purchase price, sales price, and commissions, dividends received in cash or reinvested, stock splits, load charges, and original issue discount (OID). An
Excel spreadsheet is a great way to track this information, but even a handwritten schedule will do.
If you have deductible expenses withheld from your paycheck, such as union dues, medical insurance premiums, or 401(k) contributions, keep your pay stubs as proof of payment.
Specific records you should keep include:
- Form W-2 and 1099
- Bank statements
- Brokerage and mutual fund statements
- Form K-1 (for partnerships)
- Sales slips
- Credit card receipts
- Canceled checks or other proof of payment
- Home purchase and sales agreements, closing statements, and insurance records
How Long Should I Keep Records?
Although legally you need only keep tax records for three years from the date you filed the related income tax return, you should keep a copy of your actual tax returns, W-2s, 1099s, etc., indefinitely. The IRS destroys original tax returns after three years, and you or your heirs may need information from the returns at some point, or you may need to prove your earnings for Social Security purposes.