This post is part of the TaxACT #BeatTheDeadline blog tour which shares tips on how to make tax time a smooth and easy process before the April 15 deadline. TaxACT provides the tools and guidance to help you confidently file taxes easy and fast. Do your own taxes today at TaxACT. You got this.
The tax deadline is quickly approaching. If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, what’s the reason? Are you putting it off because you owe money or do you not know where to start?
If your answer is the latter of the two here’s how you can file your taxes in five easy steps. (The process is fairly simple, I promise!)
Gather All of Your Tax Information
Before you even think of opening up tax software make sure you have all of your information in front of you. In my opinion, this step is the biggest pain so once this is out of the way everything is else is a breeze.
Start going through your documents and collect the following:
- 1099 and W-2’s
- Unemployment Information
- Personal Information for Anyone Who Belongs on Your Tax Return
- Investing Statements and Tax Documents
- Mortgage Interest Statements
- Miscellaneous Income
- Expenses and Any Other Deductions
- Last Year’s Tax Return
- Any Other Tax Form You Received
Once you have all of these together you can move onto the next step!
Use a Tax Calculator for an Estimate
With all of your documents in front of you pull up a tax calculator, which all of the major tax software companies provide. This will estimate the final outcome of your tax situation.
Start entering your information into the calculator. Since these calculations are basic it shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes to do this. I always like to use a tax calculator before completing my return to make sure my numbers come out close. If they don’t come out close I know I’ve made a mistake in one of these places.
Enter Your Information Using Online Tax Software
Now that you have an estimate of what you’ll either get back or owe it’s time to do the actual return.
Open up a tax software program like TaxACT and start entering your information. TaxACT will walk you step by step through each section so all you have to do is follow the prompts.
This should take you anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half depending on how much information you have to enter.
Double Check Your Information
Once you have all of your information entered go back through and make sure there are no typos. Check all of the numbers including your birthdate and social security number for accuracy.
Once you’ve checked these numbers yourself run the double check option on TaxACT. The software will go through your return again and look for any missing or incomplete information.
Correct as needed.
File Your Taxes!
Your last step will be the actual filing of your taxes. Choose how you want to pay (or receive your refund) and electronically file.
If these steps seem simple, it’s because they are! Filing your taxes is a pretty straightforward process when you have software walking you through every step. If you’ve yet to file start rounding up all of your documents and going through the motions. You still have enough time to beat the deadline!
Beating the tax deadline doesn’t have to be stressful. With TaxACT, everything you need to confidently prepare and e-file your taxes is right at your fingertips. You got this. File your simple or complex federal return FREE today with TaxACT Free Edition.