Things You Need to Know about Preparing your Income Tax Return

Filing your tax return is one of the most important things you have to do throughout the year but fortunately it only has to be done once annually. If you get it right then you get rest easy and the IRS won’t bother you until the following tax year but if you get it wrong you could wind up in court. Needless to say, it is a good idea to be meticulous in your approach. Here’s a few things you need to know about preparing your income tax return.

You need to have all the right documents

First of all you need to fill out the forms and statements that are relevant to you. The form you need will depend on your individual circumstances. Non-resident aliens will fill out a different form to residents and joint residents, while non-resident aliens with children will need to fill out a different form all together.

If you are claiming for expenses then you will need all relevant receipts or invoices and any other relevant documentation. Keep all your receipts together throughout the year and it will save you having to search for them later down the line. You can store them in a filing cabinet or folder for convenience. Where possible keep an extra copy of your receipts. You will also ned proof of ID, your filing and residency status, your bank account and routing number, bank and brokerage statements, tax credit proof, proof of tax exclusions and tax deductions. Have your social security numbers on hand for both you and your spouse and dependants where relevant. They will also need the date of birth of everyone included and a copy of your last tax return.

They need to be filed on time

You can hire a professional to file your tax return for you, you can do it online or you can file a paper copy. If you file it online then you don’t have to worry about the post. Filing a paper copy will allow you to have a physical copy you can check over. However there is less margin for error. Check and double check your tax return. If you want to ensure that your tax return is accurate then it might be worth hiring a professional to handle it for you. This will cost you some money, of course but it will save you getting prosecuted for tax violation.Regardless of the method you choose to file your tax return, you need to make sure that you send it to the relevant department on time. You can sometimes get an extension but you need permission and if you don’t ask for extra time then you could find yourself in court and in need of an attorney.If you are prosecuted then you could be fined or even imprisoned so it is worth making sure it is correct before you file it.

If you have any doubt about the form you need to fill in then contact the IRS to make sure. Being thorough will help avoid any delays in processing your application.