How to Get Your Taxes Done Right
Taxes. If you’re like most, you’re not a big fan of this five-letter word. While it’s true that income tax preparation can be frustrating and complicated, knowing these basics can save you money, time, and stress.
1) Understand Taxable Income
The amount of taxes you pay is based on your taxable income rather than your total income. Reducing taxable income means you pay less come tax time.
2) Don’t Miss Any Tax Deductions
Because deductions reduce your taxable income, the more deductions you have the less you’ll owe in taxes. That means you don’t want to miss any if you’re itemizing. Download our Tax Preparation Checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need.
3) Take Advantage of Tax Credits
Tax credits are a big deal because they reduce your tax bill dollar for dollar, rather than just reducing your taxable income. Find a good tax pro in your area to help you take advantage of every possible credit like child care or small business expenses.
4) Pay Attention to Your Withholdings
Withholdings are a percentage of your paycheck your employer sets aside to cover your taxes. We recommend adjusting your withholdings so you break even. You won’t get a big refund from the IRS but you won’t send them a huge check.
5) Determine If You Need a Tax Pro
If your tax situation is simple, you may be able to handle it on your own. Once your financial life gets a little more complicated though, having a pro check for every possible deduction and credit is worth it. Take our Tax Quiz to find out if you need a tax pro.
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