Tax Filing Tips

Written by February 6, 2023
  1. Start early → Sooner you file, sooner you receive your money! 

Some taxpayers can receive their refunds as soon as 1 week after filing when they start early in the tax season before the IRS becomes more inundated with returns from across the country. 

  1. Determine how you will file

Will you be using an online platform like TurboTax or H&R Block for filing your taxes? If so, make sure to check them out prior to sitting down and filing your taxes to determine if you prefer one over another or if one offers more benefits or drawbacks (i.e., are there any hidden fees that one of the sites has?) 

  1. How do you plan to use your refund or pay the amount you owe?

If you owe money to the IRS, plan for how you will pay it and from what income. If you will be receiving a refund, you can apply it to the following year’s taxes or put in for a direct deposit or written check from the IRS. 

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  1. Get all of your documents together that you will need when it comes time to file 

Documents like your W2s from any employer you worked for during the year 2022 as of December 31 must be accounted for. Employers are typically required to have their W2s ready by the end of January 2023. You should also be on the lookout for 1098-Ts which show your tuition paid and any 1099s for interest you may have earned on your account. 

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  1. Know your filing status

If you’re a college student, you may still be claimed as a dependent on your parent’s tax returns, so be sure to check with them if they are electing to claim you. If not, you will likely file as Single unless you are married. If you’re married, you can file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. 

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  1. Be aware of credits 

It is crucial to get all the money you are entitled to through credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit, etc. There are credits for education—like the latter—and families. 

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  1. Self-Employment income and how to report it

You may not think you are self-employed, but if you worked in the gig economy like 

driving for Uber, DoorDash, GrubHub, etc., then you will complete a 1099 form. 

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  1. How to avoid identity theft

Identity theft is an incredibly common way many fall victim to when they share information with people they believe to be with the IRS, but are in fact scammers. Scamming is very commonplace especially during tax season, so know that the IRS will only ever communicate with you via mail—never email, never text.

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  1. 401-K Withdrawal

If you withdrew money from your 401-K retirement account during 2022, it is important to know the necessary tax forms you will need to fill out.

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  1. Know what deduction to take

The vast majority of people will take the standard deduction, but you may prefer the itemized deduction if it offers a greater deduction once you itemize all of your eligible expenses.

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Note: This information cannot take the place of advice from a lawyer. Each case is different and needs individual legal advice. You should contact the LITC or a private attorney if you need representation on a tax matter or if you have questions.

~Tia Bentivegna