Top 10 Tax Tips 2011 – All you need to be prepared!

Tax season 2011 is here and we are all awaiting those important documents in our mailbox any day now. Meanwhile, here are the Top 10 Tax Tips directly from the IRS to ensure a smooth and easy experience in getting your taxes done:

1.     Get Your Records Ready

Gather up all your records to support filing your taxes: receipts for expenses, donations, rentals, businesses, canceled checks and all other necessary paperwork you have to support deductions you could claim on your return.

2.     Watch for Your Income DocumentsBe on the lookout in the mailbox for your expected W-2s and 1099s(1099-MISC for contract labor and 1099-G for unemployment income). In addition, if you had any investments such as stocks, mutual funds or even an interest bearing savings account, look out for your 1099-DIV and 1099-INT. You need those in order to file your return.

3.     Schedule Your AppointmentContact one of our Tax Patriots and make an appointment ahead of time to avoid rushing and the crowds.

4.     Try E-FilingEvery return done by us is transmitted using the safe, secure, and fast new IRS E-File method which saves you the hassle and time and gets you your refund weeks faster than mailing it in. If you owe taxes, there are many payment options available to you. If you are getting a refund with E-File and Direct Deposit, you can get your refund in as little as 10 days.

5.     Consider All Your OptionsYou can try to prepare and file your own return. With all of today’s fast pace changes, going to a tax preparer is always a safer choice. Have one of our Tax Patriots analyze your situation and suggest the best outcome for you as well as help you plan ahead for the future.

6.     Go for Direct DepositDirect Deposit is a much faster and more secure way to get your money straight into your bank account. No paper checks, no standing in line, faster turn-around and rest easy! In addition, if you are strapped for cash you can elect to have your preparation fees debited from your refund.

7.     Visit the IRS Website OftenThe official IRS website is always the best resource for all the latest information and all the necessary tools to help you make this process easier. You can find anything you need there: forms, publications, instructions, frequently asked questions and lots of free advice.

8.     Read Up on Pub 17Publication 17 is the IRS comprehensive guide to help the taxpayers prepare well to file their returns.

9.     Always Double, Triple CheckReview all your information and return several times before filing it in the IRS system. Don’t rush into sending in incomplete information as that will only lengthen the process and delay your refund. Double-check everything until you’re confident enough to send it in. Most common errors are in Social Security Numbers and wrong math. Check those again.

10. Don’t PanicRemain calm throughout the preparation and filing process.  If you have any problems or questions you can always contact one of our Tax Patriots or the IRS directly or toll-free at 800-829-1040.


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