It’s the big day! You get to file taxes!
While filing taxes may not seem as exciting as graduating from high school or your first day of college, filing your taxes for the first time is a pretty big deal. If you are fresh out of your parents’ nest, or if you have decided to head out on your own, knowing what to expect when you file taxes for the first time can be pretty helpful. At Cathy E. Parker, E.A. Bookkeeping & Tax Service, we’ve compiled a few tips for making sure your first time filing taxes is a success:
- Take Your Time – The first step when you are ready to file taxes is to take your time. Make sure to ask questions if you aren’t sure and go through each step of the process thoroughly. Why, you ask? Because by taking your time, you are less likely to make mistakes and more likely to maximize your refund!
- Check for Deductions – Just because you are a first-time tax filer doesn’t mean you won’t have deductions. If you think that stuff “is just for grown-ups,” think again and make sure you optimize every dollar! You will thank yourself when your refund check arrives.
- Parent Power – If your parents still claim you as a dependent, you may not be able to claim exemptions when you file taxes. For example, you may have worked plenty of hours in your free time, but your parents may be claiming some of your college costs on their own return. It’s important to check for these details so you don’t have to go back and file your taxes again due to errors.
- Don’t Procrastinate – It is the story of many a student who chooses to wait until the very last possible moment to turn in their assignments. Remember, when you file taxes, it can be a time consuming process, so start the process early and don’t wait until the last minute. Besides, if you procrastinate, you may have trouble adhering to number one on this list.
- Ask the Professionals –If you are truly stumped about some of the forms you need to fill out when you are ready to file taxes, you can always ask a professional tax preparer for assistance. This will give you confidence your taxes are completed correctly and you’ll know better what to expect for next year.