Before diving into the Do’s and Don’ts of Tax Season, it is important to understand the definition of Tax Season. Tax Season is a time between January 1 and April 15 each year when taxpayers are prompted to complete financial statements and reports about the previous year. Thus, this year’s tax reports should reflect finances from 2018. It is required that taxpayers must file their annual tax return by April 15 of the year after reportable earnings (unless this date falls on a weekend or holiday, in which case the deadline is moved to the next business day). Therefore, individuals should file their 2018 tax returns by April 15, 2019.
The International Revenue Service (IRS) is the government agency responsible for overseeing tax laws and collecting taxes. In order for individuals to get their taxes to the IRS by the deadline, the IRS encourages people to use online e-filing platforms and softwares to electronically file their income returns. The IRS also advises that individuals keep their prior-year tax reports for at least three to seven years in case of audits or suspicion of fraud.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Tax Season:
Even though Tax Season is busy, there is no need to feel overwhelmed. Read and understand these Do’s and Don’ts tips about Tax Season to feel confident in completing your annual tax reports this year.
- Ask for help: There is no shame in reaching out to other family members or professionals in order to receive advice and clarity during Tax Season.
- Seek guidance from a previous year’s report: If you are confused about how to file your taxes or about any aspects of your finance, go over your previous tax return statements for guidance.
- File by the April 15 Deadline: It is enforced in the United States that taxpayers must submit their financial statements to the IRS by the April 15th deadline. You can submit your tax return online or visit the IRS website for alternative options.
- Look to Tax Calculators and other helpful tools: Even the accounting professionals rely on the help of tax calculators and specific tools to ensure they do not make mistakes during Tax Season. If you are filing your taxes by yourself or simply want to check over the work performed by your accountant, look to reliable tax calculators and tools to prevent errors in your annual tax return.
- Miss the April 15 Deadline: Unless given extensions or specific instructions by the IRS, the April 15 deadline is mandatory for all taxpayers, so be sure not to miss it.
- File taxes based on the wrong year of income: Taxes should be filed by the deadline for the year prior, so by April 15, 2019, the annual tax reports for the 2018 income year should be filed and reported to the IRS.
- Throw away tax statements or related financial documents: The IRS suggests that individuals keep tax returns and related paperwork for at least three years after filing their taxes. In some extreme cases, the IRS will look for tax statements going back seven years for conducting audits, so it is important to hold on to these documents.
- Commit tax fraud: It is extremely important to correct mistakes in tax reports as to not be audited for fraudulent activity by the IRS.
Calculating your taxes can be confusing. However, there is a simple way to break it down. Check out this article to learn more about calculating your taxes:
If you need any further information regarding Tax Season and the IRS, visit the IRS website or contact a professional for more details. The IRS website has detailed breakdowns of how each business or individual should file their taxes each year.
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