Tips your family should know about filing taxes.
“Taxes” is a challenging subject for many people. Actually, the Washington Post reported that most people fail to pay taxes because they don’t understand them. Even so, understanding taxes and how to file them properly usually has many perks, such as tax credits and tax deductions. If you want to take advantage of these benefits and many more by filing your taxes properly, here’s what you need to do:
Learn about taxes
First of all, if you’re not well-versed with taxes, it would help if you took your time to educate yourself and your children on taxes, including how they are filed, and why they are essential. Being informed on tax matters makes you aware of your financial status while helping you make critical decisions to take the right steps, save you money and keep you away from tax-related suits like a fraud. Remember that is never considered a defense.
Take advantage of deductions
A tax deduction is a form of incentive that reduces the amount of income subject to taxation. For example, once you receive your salary, there are things that demand your contributions. These include your healthcare insurance and your retirement plan. Deducting these sums reduces the amount of income that is subject to taxation. You might benefit greatly from deductions depending on which tax bracket you fall in. The higher your tax bracket, the more you could save from deductions.
Find out if you are eligible for tax credits
Unlike tax deductions, credits reduce the amount of tax you need to pay. They exist as either refundable or non-refundable tax credits. Refundable tax credits increase your tax refund, which means that you can get reimbursed by the government if your tax goes below zero even when you weren’t required to pay anything. On the other hand, non-refundable credits reduce the amount of tax you should pay.
For example, if you have children, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit, and if you’re between the low and moderate-income groups, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). You may also benefit from it if you are self-employed or if your income has dropped.
Another good thing about tax refunds is that you can get back any overpayments you made by mistake. All you have to do is make a claim for a refund and have your money safely deposited in your bank account or a check mailed to your address after your claim has been assessed.
Seek professional help
If you still find it a challenge to file taxes on your own, you should seek the help of a professional. On the other hand, there are tax preparation services online that you can trust for guidance on common tasks, such as tax calculations, and even file your taxes on your behalf. This is the best way to ensure that you don’t make tax-related errors and that your taxes are filed with no pressure.
Always review your taxes before filing them
In many instances, we make costly errors during the filing of returns. To avoid them, you need to review your documents before you submit them to the collection agency. You should be careful to ensure that you entered the correct information and didn’t leave out anything crucial.
Reviewing your details also prevents you from making unnecessary overpayments. Once you are confident that all your details are in order, file your tax and save a copy of your records. Proof of tax compliance is vital, and you may need it if you experience an issue with the IRS or need a guide for subsequent tax filing.
Consider joint filing
Filing taxes as a couple can save your family a lot of money. First, it makes you eligible for a good standard deduction which is currently $25,100 a year, and student loan interest deductions. Such a significant reduction in your taxable income helps you save more. Secondly, joint filing automatically makes you eligible for several tax credits, such as the lifetime learning education tax credit and adoption expenses if you have an adopted child.
So, if you have had problems filing your taxes or are looking for easier ways to get the job done, then you should try:
- Learning about tax
- Making good use of deductions
- Looking into tax credits
- Reviewing your details before filing them
- Filing jointly with your spouse
- Seeking professional help
Each of these suggestions can make filing much easier for your family this year.