Stress Less: File and Deal with the IRS Easier
Another tax season is upon us. For some people, filing their taxes is a huge relief. For others, it’s a source of stress over lingering uncertainties, even if everything was done by the books.
This year, the stress is even more understandable. After a tumultuous 2020, there are more uncertainties than in your average tax year. Especially for taxpayers who took advantage of any government assistance or the various programs that doled out money last year.
Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to make tax filing easier. It really starts with organization and taking it one step at a time. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself when you want to get it done, but when you rush, you’re more likely to make mistakes. So, don’t stress!
What you can do:
Start by gathering your tax records. Have all your necessary records organized in advance. The more time you give yourself with this, the easier it is once you sit down to do your taxes, whether you’re on your own or meeting with a tax professional.
Having these documents on hand and organized gives you extra time to review them. It may help you discover overlooked deductions or credits or make you realize you don’t qualify for a certain deduction or credit this year. Either way, this documentation increases the accuracy of your filing.
Tax documents you need include Form W-2 from employers and Form 1099 from banks and other payers. If you engaged in any virtual currency transactions, you’ll need those records too, along with all other sources of income. Basically, if you made money, you need a paper trail and records you can access.
Coming back to government assistance, you will need Notice 1444 for your economic tax payment if you’ve received that money.
Important to Keep in Mind:
Here are a few other things every taxpayer needs to keep in mind: Don’t forget to notify the IRS if your address has changed. While this isn’t usually a big deal by itself, it can lead to some much bigger headaches if you must straighten things out later, especially when you’re trying to get your taxes actually filed.
The same is said for notifying the Social Security Administration of a legal name change. Taking care of it as soon as possible saves a lot of time and headaches down the road.
Remember, in general, most income is taxable. This includes unemployment income, refund interest, income from the gig economy, and virtual currencies. Keeping records — and keeping them organized — is the best thing you can do for yourself as you prepare to file this year or any year.
The next best thing you can do if you feel overwhelmed or stressed is to reach out for help. Sometimes, taxes are straightforward and are completed and filed within a matter of hours or less. But sometimes, they present a curveball you aren’t prepared for or sure how to handle.
If you need assistance with tax preparation this year, don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions or concerns. And if the IRS does contact you after you’ve filed, don’t stress, we’re here to help to make dealing with the IRS less overwhelming.