Tips for filing taxes yourself - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Tips for filing taxes yourself

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MADISON (WKOW) -- If you're looking to file your taxes yourself, there are some important things to keep in mind to help avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.

  • Know the filing deadline. Generally, the filing deadline is April 15th. But if that date falls on a weekend or a holiday the due date can be different by a couple days. This year's due date is April 17, 2018, because April 15th falls on a Sunday and the 16th is Emancipation Day, which is a holiday in Washington D.C.
  • Review last year's tax returns. Much of the information on last year's state and federal tax returns will be the same, such as employer federal ID numbers, children's social security numbers, etc.
  • Gather all necessary income forms. 
    • These forms include:
      • Form W-2 (wages)
      • 1099-INT (interest)
      • W-2G (gambling winnings)
      • 1099-B (investment sales)
      • SSA-1099 (Social Security benefits)
      • 1099-C (forgiven debt)
      • 1098-E (student loan interest)
      • 1098-T (tuition)
  • Determine whether or not you should itemize deductions. Itemizing deductions is only beneficial if those deductions will exceed the standard deduction. If you're using tax software, like TurboTax, will guide you as to what you should do.
  • Double-check your return. Before you drop off your return or hit submit when e-filing, make sure you've checked the figures you've entered when filing your return. A simple mistake can over inflate your refund that you'll have to pay back later.

About 33 percent of Americans file their own taxes each year.

For more information or tips for filing taxes yourself, visit the IRS website.

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