With the April 17th deadline fast approaching, you might be stressed out but don't let tax season get to you. While some people are excited about tax season and any money they might get from their return, others may have to pay the IRS and dread this time of year. No matter which one you are, don't get too worried about it, the IRS has actually made it very easy to file your taxes and there are plenty of tax preparing services that will let you file for free.
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1. Find a professional to help you.
Websites like TurboTax, TaxAct, and H&R Block all offer free tax preparation if you qualify. If you are filing yourself be sure to double check your return for accuracy, if you are using any tax preparing services they will check your return for you. This is a big one, many tax preparing services will let you file your taxes for free and have step by step instructions to walk you through the process.
2. Do not forget to sign your return.
The IRS will not accept your tax return without your signature and then you'll be considered late. If you are filing online there will a form that requires a digital signature at the end, be sure to sign any accompanying documents you need to mail in.
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3. Keep copies of your return and be sure to document all of your deductible expenses-you.
You will be surprised at how much you can forget in a few months or a year and when you file your taxes having a copy of last years return will simplify the process. Keep a folder for any digital files on your computer and name it appropriately so next year you won't be scrambling to find them. Do the same for any physical copies you mail in and keep copies of your own to file away.
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4. If you find out that you owe or feel overwhelmed the worst thing you can do is nothing at all. Seek help.
There are many options for paying your taxes. If you feel overwhelmed just apply for an IRS installment agreement to make monthly payments that are right for you, don't put it off. According to the IRS, electronic filing is up 2.2 percent this year from 2017. The IRS even has a YouTube channel with over 50 helpful videos for common topics that people need help with.
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5. Take advantage of help programs and free filing services.
There are many helpful programs in place so that you can become compliant again. Don't underestimate the helpfulness of the IRS website, there are loads of helpful tools and step by step videos that explain virtually everything about the filing process. If you are still having trouble, it's not a bad idea to give the IRS a call directly if you have anything that you can't find an answer for.
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