How to Prepare for Tax Season in 3 Simple Steps

Taxes don't have to be overwhelming—in just a few simple steps you can tackle them like a pro. We're here to help get you started and address some common questions you may have. Use these tips to maximize your refund!

1. Organize personal info

The first step is gathering the necessary info like social security #’s and birthdays for you, your spouse, and dependents.

Who can I claim as a dependent?

Relatives and children that are financially reliant on you and don’t file their own taxes. To see if you can claim someone as a dependent, you can use this interactive tool from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). 

2. Manage your income

The next step is understanding whether you'll need a W-2 or 1099 form—or both. W-2 employees usually work for an hourly rate or a salary, whereas 1099 workers are often contractors, freelancers, or self-employed.

What is a W-2 form?

A W-2 form reports an employee’s annual income and the taxes withheld from their paychecks in a particular calendar year. Learn more about W-2’s here.

What is a 1099 form?

There are several types of 1099 forms, but if you are a contractor, gig worker, or have other freelance work that doesn't categorize you as a W-2 employee, you'll use a 1099 form. Learn more about 1099 forms here.

3. Look for ways to get money back

Deductions and credits

Deductions and credits are designed to help you get a bigger tax return. Some common deduction examples are childcare costs, education, charitable donations, and home mortgage interest point payments. 

Income adjustments

Taxpayers can subtract payments, contributions and fees from their overall income. Some common examples are medical savings accounts, moving expenses, student loan interest and IRA contributions. Get a detailed rundown from the IRS here.

What’s next?

When are taxes due?

The due date for filing tax returns and making tax payments is Monday April 18, 2022.

If your gross income is under $72,000, you can take advantage of the IRS Free File program. Add your Branch Account and Routing Numbers so you don’t have to worry about waiting for the paper check for your tax refund to come in the mail.

This blog post is intended for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting, financial or tax advice.

Continue reading