Whether you’re preparing to file your taxes for the first time or you’ve been doing it for years, chances are you may feel at least a little overwhelmed about the prospect. In fact, data from the Pew Research Center shows that 56% of Americans dislike doing their taxes. One of the key reasons is that they feel it’s too complicated and there is too much paperwork involved.
The good news is that doing your taxes doesn’t have to be difficult. Below, we’ve shared three tips for easy filing that can ensure you get your refund quickly and efficiently.
Take Stock of Your Finances
Before you can start preparing your tax documents, you need to have a clear understanding of your financial picture. This includes your income for the year, any relevant expenses, as well as possible deductions related to retirement contributions or charitable donations.
If you’ve had any big life changes throughout the year, such as buying a house, having a baby, or changing your employment status, you’ll need to consider those as well. These types of events often have implications when it comes to deductions or tax credits.
The most important thing is to know exactly where things stand with your finances, and what has changed since the last time you filed. This will help you streamline the filing process and allow you to do it quickly and efficiently.
Gather the Relevant Paperwork
Once you’ve taken stock of your finances, it’s time to ensure that you have all of the necessary paperwork.
Here are some of the documents you’ll need:
- Sources of Income: Depending on whether you’re self-employed, an independent contractor, or work for an employer, you’ll receive either a W-2 or 1099 form(s) showing your earnings for the year. If you’re someone who has both a full-time job and freelance income, you’ll need to include both types of forms. For any additional sources of income, including savings, investments, or rental income, you’ll need to provide the relevant forms showing the money you received.
- Deductions: Your deductions will depend on several factors, like if you have dependents, your marital status, whether or not you’re a homeowner, etc. If you currently have a mortgage, you’ll receive a 1098 form or other mortgage interest statements. If you have childcare expenses, you’ll also need receipts showing the fees paid to a licensed daycare provider. Lastly, if you want to deduct charitable contributions throughout the year, you’ll need records showing the cash amounts contributed.
Choose A Tax-Filing Option That Works for You
With your paperwork on hand, you’re ready to start filing your taxes. To make the process as simple and straightforward as possible, it’s important to choose a tax-filing option that fits your needs.
This is where H&R Block can help. With multiple filing options designed to fit your schedule and your preferences, H&R Block has the tools and resources to help make filing easy and painless. You can file whatever way is easiest for you: online, in an office, or virtually. What’s more, H&R Block offers 35% off online tax filing, so that you can minimize your costs while maximizing your refund.
If you’d prefer to work with an expert, filing with an H&R Block tax professional either virtually or in-person can ensure that you get the maximum refund and have all of your questions answered. With a minimum of 10 years of experience, H&R Block’s pros can provide you with guidance every step of the way.
While filing taxes can feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be complicated. By taking stock of your finances, gathering your paperwork, and choosing the right tax prep solution, you’ll be able to get your taxes done early and get your maximum refund quickly and easily.