March 07, 2023 | Posted in:

Skip the Stress: 6 Tips for a Smooth Tax Season

Tax season is well underway. Here are several ways to make sure that your tax return is prepared and filed as quickly (and as accurately!) as possible.

1) Keep documents in one place.

Missing tax forms are one of the biggest reasons that filing a tax return gets delayed. Especially if you receive statements via both physical mail and e-mail, it’s even more important that you store everything in a single location once you receive them.

2) Organize documents by type.

Streamline the process by sorting documents in tax return order. Use last year’s tax return as a guide, which may include income, business and rental information, income adjustments, itemized deductions, tax credits, and miscellaneous.

3) Don’t procrastinate.

Another frequent hold-up is incorrect and missing forms. Early on, double-check all documents for correct names, birthdates, and Social Security numbers so you have time to obtain corrected or missing forms. The IRS encourages filing early to help thwart scammers from filing a fraudulent return on your behalf.

4) Create a list of special events from the previous year.

Employees know to expect a Form W-2 each year, while the self-employed are used to receiving Form 1099s. But certain tax documents you won’t see every tax season. Selling a home, getting married (or divorced), and sending a kid to college aren’t typically annual events for most taxpayers. Look back and make note of special 2022 life events, as some may affect your taxes.

5) Go electronic.

The IRS has struggled recently to process paper-filed returns, delaying more than 20 million tax returns in 2021. Filing electronically avoids the possibility that the IRS will misplace your return. For a quicker and safer refund, opt for direct deposit over a paper check. Refunds are typically received within three weeks when e-filing.

6) Don’t forget to sign!

Hard copy returns must have your signature (and your spouse’s, if married) and date or else the processing of your return (and refund!) could be delayed by several months. If e-filing, don’t forget to sign Form 8879, which authorizes the e-filing of your return.

Bonus Tip

Consult with your CPA after your return is complete to review what you need to do in 2023 to get a head start on preparing and staying organized for next year’s return. Your future self will thank you for planning ahead!  

These are some of the more common reasons why the preparation and filing of your tax return get delayed. Be prepared and file your return this year without a hitch.


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