One of the cardinal rules about filing taxes is: If you don’t know what you’re doing, leave it to a professional. I’m talking first time filers or those who are married but unsure whether to file joint or head of household. Also, don’t forget new additions to the family. All of those things are in your favor when filing your taxes.
Generally taxes are pretty cut in dry if you are in a hurry and have a working knowledge of tax laws, breaks, and/or deductibles. My strongest advice to those who own their own businesses or work as a contractor and have to file a 1099, is to at the very least, use the program Turbo Tax. It’s much cheaper and they guarantee their accuracy just like other high priced tax professionals. They even offer the option that GOD forbid you get audited, they will intercede on your behalf and communicate with the IRS for you.
There are so many deductibles that people don’t even think about when it comes to tax preparation.
For every single thing you choose to use please make sure you have receipts to back it up.
Drive to work every day? The gas expenses are deductible. Purchase office supplies? You got it! That is deductible too. Child care expenses, dry-cleaning, purchasing a new vehicle, office equipment (like laptops or other computer related items). Those are deductible as well.
Now we come to donations and I will say this again, ALWAYS get a receipt for anything you donate. It’s simply a matter of covering yourself in case an audit should arise. This includes everything from clothing to vehicles. Just remember, keep a record of everything. Receipts are your friends when it comes to tax time. I prefer to keep all of my receipts in a box with dividers. Receipts for gas, and other expenses in order by date safely filed away. It makes your life much less complicated as well as the person you choose to file your taxes.
I have prepared taxes for almost 10 years now and I am well aware of the ins and outs of the system and exactly what they look for. If you find yourself looking for a CPA to file your taxes do a little background check on them and make sure they have a good track record. Honestly though, in my best opinion, I suggest Turbo Tax (Intuit software) they have everything you need and will walk you through step by step in filing your taxes and they will let you know if paperwork is needed. It’s also the fastest way to get your return. They even have a section for business taxes. Plus, their fees are MUCH cheaper than going into your local tax preparation office and you are able to see your results immediately.
Take it from a professional, (who isn’t charging ) follow these simple rules and you will see your best return yet!