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How Can I File Taxes Myself?

By February 26, 2024Tax Strategy, Taxes

It’s that horrible time of year when we have to roll up our sleeves and dive headfirst into the abyss of tax documents. Don’t worry too much though, because we’ve got your back with the ultimate guide to filing your taxes like a pro, even if you’re doing them by yourself.

 

First things first: What documents do you actually need? This answer to this question obviously depends on your specific situation, but in general, think mortgage statements, charitable contributions, bank interest, and if you’ve dabbled in the stock market or retirement accounts. You’ll also need those pesky 1099-Bs and obviously W-2s are essential. Basically, if it’s a piece of paper that’s been mailed or emailed to you and it says “Tax Document”, you’ll probably need it.

 

But here’s the kicker: the IRS already knows what you’ve been up to. They’ve got their beady little eyes on everything from your bank accounts to your stock portfolio. In fact, companies and banks are required to send you a copy of your tax documents, and send another copy to the IRS. So, when it comes time to file, any missing documents will almost always mean an automatic audit. It’s like the IRS’s version of a red flag, waving you down with a friendly reminder that they’re watching.

 

Now, let’s talk strategy. DIY tax filing is all well and good, but please, for the love of all things holy, don’t EVER try to fill out those forms by hand! Trust us, in all our years of filing tax forms we’ve never seen somebody fill it out themselves who hasn’t made a mistake. Instead, opt for tax software like a sensible human being.

 

There are tax companies that only operate during tax season, but you want someone who is reliable all year round. Sure, those companies may have flashy ads promising everything under the sun for free, but read the fine print, my friend. There’s always a catch. Especially if you’ve got a simple tax situation—think W-2 income, mortgage statements, and a sprinkle of itemized deductions—it’s super simple to do it yourself. You’ll likely end up with a similar outcome to what a professional could offer.

 

However, if you do end up venturing into the wild world of 1099 income, it’s time to call in professional help. Yes, enlisting the help of a tax professional might cost you a bit more than doing it yourself, but consider it an investment in your sanity.

 

In conclusion, brave DIY tax filers, the road ahead may be scary and filled with new experiences, but armed with the right knowledge and a healthy dose of caution, you can conquer tax season like a true champion. We’re here to help so let us know if there is EVER anything we can do!

 

If you want more information on this topic, here’s our video on “How to File Taxes Yourself”:

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