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How to Make Filing Your Taxes Easier

Most people don't really enjoy filing their taxes. Even if you are getting a nice refund, the actual act of gathering all your information together can be overwhelming and time consuming. Plus, millions of returns weren't processed on time last year at the IRS. Here are a few tips to help make filing your taxes easier (and maybe getting your refund quicker).

  1. Gather all your documents. Don't be in such a hurry to get your taxes done that you overlook a document or two. If you don't claim all your income, or have to amend your return, you will have a big delay in receiving your refund, or you may have to pay some of that refund back.

  2. Make sure you have the correct social security numbers for yourself, your spouse, and any dependents. This is especially important for receiving tax credits for your children. If the social security numbers aren't correct, this will cause delays.

  3. If you split custody of dependents with an ex-spouse, check your court documents to verify who may claim the child this year, and which credits you may claim.

  4. Don't forget about a side gig you may have had. Some have a side job and don't realize the person, or company, will 1099 them. These 1099's are reported to the IRS like a W-2. All income must be claimed, even if it was just a temporary or short-term side job.

  5. Unemployment is fully taxable again this year. This is another source of income that may be easy to forget, especially if you only claimed unemployment for a week or two.

  6. Like last year, the stimulus payment received early in 2021 needs to be reconciled on your tax return. It is still not taxable income, so don't worry about it adding to your tax bill, but those that may not have received one can claim the credit with their return. Those that received it should receive a letter from the IRS: "Keep this letter for your tax preparer." In addition, the early Child Tax Credit amounts will need to be reconciled. A letter for these amounts will be sent out as well. If you try to claim the whole thing, when you did in fact receive payments or claim the wrong amount, expect a delay in your refund.

  7. Use the direct deposit option to receive a refund faster. In addition, double check your bank account and routing number are correct. Checks can get lost in the mail, or even stolen.

  8. If you own a business, have your books in order. The better your records are, the easier it is to file your taxes.

  9. If you own a business, send out your W-2's and 1099's before the end of January.

  10. Finally, file electronically. Most places only file this way. However, some still file paper returns. Paper returns take much longer to process.

The IRS has said that January 24th will be the opening day for returns to start being filed. However, those claiming the earned income credit (EIC), or the additional Child Tax Credit will not receive their return until mid February at the earliest. This is to try to stop fraudulent returns from being processed.

Most people should receive their refund within 21 days. In order to help ensure that, take into account the tips mentioned above. Try not to stress, and don't be in a hurry. Put all your documents in one place and double check them. And if you would like to have your tax return prepared for you, feel free to get in touch with us.


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