Tips to help taxpayers reduce tax-time stress
Each tax season comes with unique challenges and 2022 is no exception. The IRS wants taxpayers to get the information they need as quickly as possible. Taxpayers should keep these tips in mind when they get ready to file. Following them will help get this year’s taxes done accurately and refunds issued timely.
• Avoid errors. Taxpayers should review their tax return so they can file a complete and accurate return and avoid refund delays. Filing electronically is the most accurate way to file. Taxpayers should check all names and double check all Social Security numbers, bank account and routing numbers.
• Gather records. Good recordkeeping makes preparing a tax return easier. It can also ensure taxpayers do not overlook deductions and credits.
• Start with IRS.gov. IRS.gov is available around-the-clock and it’s the fastest way to get assistance. Millions of people use IRS.gov for filing and paying taxes, getting information about their accounts or answers to tax questions. The IRS Services Guide outlines the many ways taxpayers can get help from the IRS.
• Use online tools. IRS.gov has many useful online tools. The Interactive Tax Assistant provides answers to many tax questions specific to an individual’s circumstances. It gives the same answers that an IRS representative would give over the phone.
• Report all income. Taxpayers must report their taxable income from all sources, including the gig economy, Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Forms 1099. Other income may be taxable, even if the taxpayer does not receive a statement.
• Report unemployment benefits. Taxpayers who received unemployment benefits in 2021, must report the amount as taxable income on their tax return.
• Access online account or review IRS letters. This year, people must have the total amounts of their advance child tax credit payments and their Economic Impact Payments on hand when filing. They can check online account or review Letter 6419, 2021 Total Advance Child Tax Credit Payments, and Letter 6475, Your 2021 Economic Impact Payment, for their total payment amounts to help them file an accurate return.
• Choose a reputable preparer. Taxpayers can self-prepare or use a tax preparer. IRS.gov has resources to help people choose a tax pro. The IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers provides information on who has a professional credential or participates in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program. MI Cottage Tax Services preparers’ (Lorie and Bryan) are participants in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program.
• File electronically. IRS Free File online can help taxpayers claim their earned income tax credit, child and dependent care credit, child tax credit and recovery rebate credit. Some Free File options are available in Spanish. MilTax online software is available for members of the military and certain veterans, regardless of income, and is offered through the Department of Defense. Eligible taxpayers may prepare and file their federal returns and up to three state returns for free.
• Choose direct deposit. Filing electronically and choosing direct deposit is the safest and easiest way to file an accurate tax return and the fastest way to get a refund.
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