Tax season has rolled around again, and as confusing and time consuming as the filing process might be, there are a few tips to make preparing and submitting easier.
Karla Dennis, the founder of Karla Dennis and Associates, joined Cheddar News to provide some tax season best practices.
Karla's Top Three Taxpayer Tips:
Get Organized: When it comes to tax preparation, having your dated documents, bank statements, and any receipts on hand can help speed the filing process up. Dennis also suggested that filers comb through their expenses for the year by spending one day to assess each month. For example, spend a Monday taking a look through your expenses for January 2022, then a Tuesday to check February and so on.
"That seems to be something that is extremely elusive for taxpayers. Really spend some time getting organized," she said.
Review Last Year's Tax Return: While reviewing your returns from the previous year can seem like a daunting task, it has its benefits. Dennis noted that reviewing the return can help you dictate what needs to be done for the current year's filing.
Make a List of Questions: If there are items you are not clear about in the preparation process, filers can easily ask their preparer and seek guidance.
"That little time to get organized will really help maximize your deductions," Dennis told Cheddar News.
Mistakes to Avoid
One of the biggest mistakes people make annually on their tax return is overlooking deductions. Deductions essentially reduce the amount of income made before the amount of taxes owed is calculated. Some examples of income deductions include paying for a babysitter, charitable gifts, and even time spent looking for work.
"[People] also eliminate deductions because they don't necessarily give their tax professional all of the information for the professional to make a decision on what's tax deductible," Dennis said.
For those preparing to file their own taxes, Dennis suggested using the IRS filing system, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance service or an online software like TurboTax or H&R Block.