How to Simplify Your 2023 Tax Filing: A Casual Guide

Hey there, fellow taxpayers! With the deadline to file your taxes this year coming up soon, the IRS has dropped some handy tips to make our tax preparation a breeze. Let’s dive into the checklist and turn this potentially daunting task into a stress-free experience.

1. Get Your Ducks in a Row:

Before you even think about diving into the tax season, gather all the necessary paperwork. Trust me; it saves you from headache-inducing errors and ensures you don’t miss out on any deductions or credits. What do you need, you ask?

  • Social Security numbers for everyone on your return.
  • Bank account and routing numbers for that sweet direct deposit.
  • Various tax forms like W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, and other income documents.
  • Don’t forget Form 1095-A for your Health Insurance Marketplace statement.
  •  Any IRS letters mentioning specific deductions or credits.

2. Income, Income, Income:

Remember, the taxman wants to know about every source of income. Whether you’re selling your handmade crafts online, dabbling in investments, doing a bit of part-time work, running your own show, or offering services through mobile apps – report it all. Trust me, it’s better to be thorough and avoid those pesky notices from the IRS.

3. Go Digital for Speedy Refunds:

If you’re eyeing that sweet refund, e-filing with direct deposit is the way to go. Ditch the old-school paper returns; tax software can save you from math mishaps and guides you through the process. Bonus tip: If you’re waiting on your 2022 return, enter $0 for last year’s adjusted gross income (AGI) on your 2023 return.

4. Embrace Free Resources:

Don’t break the bank when you can file for free! The IRS has your back with the Free File option for eligible taxpayers. If you earned $79,000 or less in 2023, you can access leading tax software products for free. And if you’re a DIY tax maestro, there are Free File Fillable Forms for those making over $79,000. Need help? Check out the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

5. Choose Your Filing Adventure:

Whether you’re a hands-on filer, prefer the convenience of online services, or opt for the expertise of a tax professional – the choice is yours. Just make sure to pick a tax pro wisely. Most are fantastic, but like in any field, there are a few bad apples. The IRS has a nifty directory to help you find the right fit, or you can consult a Certified Tax Planner today.

6. Avoid the Waiting Game:

Nobody likes being on hold, especially when it involves the IRS. Skip the queue and head to IRS.gov for all your tax-related queries. The Interactive Tax Assistant tool and Let Us Help You resources are gold mines for information available 24/7.

Stay Updated, Stay Informed:

Lastly, stay in the loop by following the IRS on social media, subscribing to their email alerts, and downloading the IRS2Go app. From YouTube videos to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram updates, they’ve got you covered on all things tax related.

And remember, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of navigating taxes yourself this year, there’s still time to consult a Certified Tax Planner today! They’ll help make sure you’re taking advantage of all the refunds and loopholes you’re eligible for so you can keep more of your own money where it belongs – in your pocket! Happy filing.