Tax Filing Basics
As Benjamin Franklin once said “ in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. ” For first-timers, filing taxes can be especially daunting. Read on to learn the basics about the process from TurboTax
, and how we at Fitzsimons can help make filing taxes a less stressful task for our members.
Know which form to use.
Most first-timers are dependent-free and not bogged down with various claims, so they’re eligible to use the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Form 1040EZ. Single and married filers may use this two-page document if they meet seven requirements detailed on the back of the one-sheet form.
Your status as a dependent matter.
According to the IRS, a dependent must be either a “qualifying child” or a “qualifying relative” who meets certain conditions, such as age requirements, income, or full-time student status. Dependents cannot claim any exemptions when filing their own taxes, even if their parents do not claim them either. Since most college-age students fall into the dependent category, students cannot claim their own exemption.
Deduct expenses if eligible.
Being able to deduct expenses for your business or household can be one of the bright sides of filing taxes. Those deductions can lead to a refund, but you must be able to prove what you spent. Save any and all receipts that can be used for deductions, like gas station receipts for mileage or restaurant receipts for business meals.
Don’t wait until the last minute to file.
The deadline to file a tax return is April 17h, but it is important to begin the process well in advance. Starting early will give you time to gather the right tax documents and seek advice from tax professionals.
If you’re filing your taxes for the first time, or simply need a refresher course, Fitzsimons Credit Union is offering a Tax Basics seminar presented by H&R Block. This free seminar will go over the characteristics of a good tax preparer, the documents,items needed when filing a tax return, tax deductions, tax credits, and more. To register for the seminar, click here!
Fitzsimons has also teamed up with TurboTax so our credit union members can score $15 off TurboTax software and products. Learn more about this great perk here