Tax Return Preparation
Taxes can trigger stress and uncertainty. Whether you are a tycoon with a vast financial empire or your assets are limited to a bank account and a car, the tax laws can work for you and against you. Ultimately, we can all stand to handle our finances with more sophistication. This article (including the links below) explains the basics of tax return preparation and when to report your income and expenses to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The information below also explains how to complete certain sections of the form and provides information about how to get legal assistance with your-tax related issues.
Choosing the Right Tax Forms
The first issue tax filers will face is the choice of the appropriate form. Before you fill in the form, look at the form instructions to see if you need, or would benefit from filing a different form this year.
The type of form you use depends on a number of factors, including your marital status, how much income you earn, whether you plan to use itemized deductions, and the types of credits you plan to claim. You should also see if you need any additional forms or schedules.
Tax Return Preparation in Six Steps
Once you determine which form to use, the next step is preparing your return. Simple mistakes in tax filings can result in an audit, which makes careful preparation particularly important. Follow the steps below to ensure your tax return is prepared correctly and the information provided is accurate.
- Gather your financial records for income and expenses.
- Get the forms, schedules, and publications you need.
- Fill out your return, making sure to follow the steps provided by the IRS.
- Double-check your return to make sure it's correct.
- Sign and date your return.
- Attach all required forms and schedules.
Electronic Tax Filing
Most tax preparers now file online using tax software or e-file services. When filing taxes online, the software program can help you understand which forms to file, including any necessary schedules to fill out. When e-filing, taxpayers don't have to worry about printing out forms or attaching W-2s and schedules because it is all done electronically. However, just because you are filing electronically does not mean that your return is error-free.
Additional Tax Prep Resources
There are many questions and issues that can arise in the process of preparing your taxes. If you have additional questions about the tax return preparation process, you should explore the IRS links below for in-depth information on preparing and filing your return:
- When Do I Report My Income and Expenses?
- Entering Your Social Security Number
- Contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund
- Computations and Entering Numbers on Your Return
- Attachments to Your Return (Schedules and Forms)
- Signing Your Return
- Paid Preparers
- Getting a Refund
- If You Owe
Let a Professional Help You With Your Federal Tax Return
The tax code is one of the most complicated sets of laws in the American legal system. If you have concerns about preparing your tax filings a qualified tax lawyer can help protect your assets while ensuring that you stay on the right side of the law. Contact a local tax attorney who can help you navigate the tax code.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.