Filing your taxes for the first time can be intimidating. There’s a good chance you’ve heard people complain about having to file their taxes in the past, so it’s normal to be feeling a little apprehensive.
But don’t stress! Filing taxes for the first time isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think.
Most first-time tax filers don’t have overly complicated finances, which means you just need to learn a few tax filing basics to get started.
To help you out, we’ve come up with six useful tips to help you crush your first tax season.
1. Start collecting tax information early
2. Organize your tax documents
3. Figure out if you are a dependent of someone else
4. Determine your tax filing status
5. Read your return
Your first return shouldn’t take too much time, but you don’t want to rush it. Starting early in the year gives you a chance to work on your return without the stress of a close deadline.
For tax year 2021, the IRS will start accepting and processing returns on Jan. 24, and you have until the due date on April 18, 2022, to file your 2021 federal return.
Filing deadlines for state income tax returns vary by state. Be sure to mark your calendar to give yourself enough time to meet the deadlines!
If you find yourself trying to beat the clock, you can file an extension to give yourself more time. It’s far better to get a filing extension than to hurry through your return and possibly miss tax deductions or credits that could have left you with more money in your bank account.