Filing Taxes 101: Filing for the First Time

If you’re a beginner when it comes to filing taxes, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed about the whole process. You’re headed down the long road of being a tax payer, and it can be difficult to find your bearings at first.

First off, get organizedTax Forms

A good way to start is to get a folder to hold all your tax documents. You’ll be receiving any W-2s in late January, and if you’ve done freelance work you might be receiving a 1099 form. These forms are vital to keep track of—the IRS has this information, and it’ll be the first thing they look at when going over your taxes.

If you’re a student in college, you may be receiving tax documents about deductible student loan interest. Use your tax folder to keep anything you can think of that might have tax implications; it’s better to be over-prepared when it comes to your taxes.

Talk with your parents

You can benefit from your parents’ years of tax-filing experience, and having their counsel can be a big help the first time you file. Additionally, they might be planning on claiming you as a dependent, and if they do you won’t be able to claim a personal exemption. It’s a good idea to coordinate with your parents to make sure potential problems don’t arise.

File on time

All forms need to be filed by April 15. Don’t procrastinate. After all, you might be looking forward to a decent refund!
photo credit: David Reber’s Hammer Photography via photopin cc

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