Although you might find it quite boring, filing taxes is part of your life and you need to deal with it! Especially if you don't want problems with the IRS. Pay attention to these tips and avoid the most common filing mistakes and also find out how to speed up your tax refund.
Filing your taxes is one of the most important chores you need to keep up with. Failing can end up being quite dangerous, especially if you want to avoid having problems with the IRS! So, let's make sure you understand which are the most common filing mistakes and learn how to avoid them. Here are some tips that can help you!
Missing out on tax credits
Tax credits can help you reduce what you owe for the year, so you always should take advantage of them.
The most common tax credits are Earned Income, Child and Dependent Care Credit, Savers Tax Credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning and Child Tax Credit.
Bear in mind that you should always check the tax credit eligibility rules! To avoid missing credits, you should make thorough research to see which one suits you best.
Make sure you always file the correct tax status! It will determine your eligibility for tax credits or deductions.
So, to avoid filing under the wrong status you need to make sure to file the correct one. There are five filing statuses you can choose: Single (unmarried taxpayers), married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household (single or separated that maintains a home by themselves) and widow(er) with a qualifying child.
You can check at the IRS website to figure out which status fits you.
Not organizing your paperwork
When tax season approaches, anxiety also does. If you are trying to get the tax returns and achieve tax filing on time, you will need to be organized! Otherwise, you will either end up filing late or missing on a tax break that could have helped you reduce your tax liability.
So, to avoid this extremely common mistake, you should be more organized. You can start by tracking your expenses with an app, choose to file online, creating a receipts system or making a checklist of the documents you will need.
Filing taxes in a hurry can lead you to make mistakes and this can lead to future bigger problems. You will need to be careful and consciously include all the correct information on your tax return.
Typos and wrong digits can trigger a red flag with the IRS, so you'll need to be careful! Make sure you double-check your information before submitting your file.
BONUS TRACK: SPEED UP YOUR TAX REFUND!
There is a faster way to get your tax refund, and there are actually things you can do to quicken the process. To help you get your money faster, learn how the tax refund process works, and take the necessary steps to accelerate things.
How long does tax refund usually take? Well, the answer depends on many factors:
If you e-filed your return, you can expect to receive a faster refund through direct deposit. Nine out of 10 people who e-file receive their tax refunds in three weeks or less.
If you prefer to file an old-school paper tax return, the IRS states it takes about six to eight weeks to process a refund once it receives your tax return.
So, to start with, if you want to get your refund faster, e-file and set up a direct deposit to receive your payment.
3 Tips for getting your refund money faster this year
While there is no way to guarantee exactly when your tax refund will arrive, there are a couple of ways to get it even faster:
1. File your completed tax return as soon as possible (the deadline is April 15, 2020.) If you are missing W-2 forms (or 1099 forms if you are an independent contractor), then the process can take longer. So, at the beginning of January be on the lookout for any forms you expect to receive. If you do not receive them by January 31, ask your employer or client to send you these forms.
2. Be prepared. Make sure you have the rest of your vital tax documents available and prepared in the event you need them.
3. Ask for help if you need it. Filing your taxes with a tax professional may be an option you can look into, to avoid any mistakes that could delay the payment.
What to do if you still haven’t received your refund
If you still haven’t received your tax refund after three weeks’ time, there may be a few reasons why. First, your tax return may have included errors, such as misspelled names, incorrect social security numbers, unsigned forms and more. To avoid them, make sure to carefully review your tax return before you submit it. Another possible reason for a potential hold-up is identity fraud. If this is the case, the IRS may hold onto your return until it can rectify the situation.
There are three additional tools you can use to know the status of your refund:
1. Use the IRS’ “Where’s My Refund?” online tool. It’s a quick and easy way to check the status of your tax refund.
2. Call the IRS to check on the status of your refund. To call the IRS, you can dial the hotline at 800-829-1964.
3. Use the free IRS app, called IRS2Go. It’s never been easier to check your tax status while on the go.