(CNN Spanish) – If you pay someone to prepare your tax return, save yourself the expense and do it yourself with free tools from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Also, if you do it online, you will avoid delays in refunds.
The IRS began receiving tax returns on January 23 and taxpayers have until April 18, 2023 to file them.
First of all, to file your tax return it is necessary that you know how much money you earned during the year for which you are going to declare. When you know this amount, you will need to decide whether to take the standard deduction or if you prefer to make an itemized statement, according to the IRS.
Once you have resolved these issues, we will tell you step by step how to file your taxes and thus avoid errors in the process.
1. Gather the necessary documents
According to the case:
- If you are a full-time employee, your employers should have sent you the W-2 form by January 31. This shows the wages you earned during the year, as well as any taxes that were withheld.
- If you work for yourself or for a contract, you can receive the form 1099-NEC with details about what you won. You may also receive documents showing dividends or interest earned on investments (Forms 1099-DIV either 1099-INTfor example).
- If you are a university student, you will receive the form 1098-T which shows how much you paid in tuition, as well as any amounts you received from grants or scholarships, to help you calculate deductions and credits related to educational expenses.
- Receipts for charitable donations, medical and business expenses, if you make an itemized statement
Here You can consult more types of forms to know which one applies in your case.
2. Determine your marital status
Your filing status is used to determine your filing requirements, standard deduction, eligibility for certain credits, and your correct tax, explains the IRS.
You will then need information about your marital status, which is determined by whether or not you are married under US law. If applicable, the spouse’s year of death is also required. The percentage you pay of household expenses also affects the option you must choose on your return, depending on the tax agency.
3. Decide how you want to file your tax return
The IRS recommends using tax preparation software to make it easier and more accurate to file returns online.
- If your Adjusted Gross Income is US$73,000 or less, you have the option to do it for free and on your own through Free File, a tool that allows you to prepare and file your federal income tax return online at an IRS partner website or by using Free File Interactive Forms. The software often includes step-by-step instructions and help for taxpayers.
- You can use an electronic file provider authorized by the IRS online filing program, who are qualified to prepare, transmit, and process returns online. To locate these authorized providers you can consult here the database provided by the US tax agency.
- Paper tax return sent by regular mail.
- Query if you qualify for free tax preparation. The IRS offers free tax help to low-income people, members of the Armed Forces and their families, people with disabilities, the elderly, or taxpayers with limited English proficiency.
4. Determine what type of statement is best for you
You may review here the keys to tax reform to determine if you should file a standard deduction or an itemized return.
5. If you owe money to the IRS, you will have to pay your taxes
You can perform the online tax payment through the IRS website. Full or partial payments are accepted, as well as installment payment plans. According to the IRS, penalties and interest will continue to accrue until you pay the balance in full.
6. File your tax return before April 18, 2023
Either you file your taxes using the online tools explained above or you do it by mail. The IRS recommends filing online and receiving any refund via direct deposit this year to avoid delays.
The deadline to file your return this year is April 18, 2023, as the original deadline was April 15, but due to the weekend and the District of Columbia Emancipation Day holiday, which falls on Monday April 17, the date moved three days.
Taxpayers requesting an extension to pay taxes will have a deadline of October 16, 2023 to do so.
Source: CNN Espanol