Banking and Finance

4 Top Tips for First-Time Tax Filing

First-time tax filing can be intimidating, so it’s important to do as much research as you can before you start.

Some people go through life without ever filing their own taxes. For the average person, filling out all of the paperwork accurately can seem a bit scary, but we’re here to tell you that there’s nothing to fear. You can file your taxes on your own, quickly, and do it without causing any mishaps down the road.

In this post, we’re going to give you a little push by telling you 4 crucial tax filing tips for first timers. Follow these and you’ll be able to proceed with confidence on your taxes and get the best possible return.

1. Get Your Documents Together

Before you jump into the filing process, just sit down and get all of your tax documents together. You’ll get these things through the mail or your email over the first few months of the year, so make sure to keep an eye out.

You’ll receive documents like a W-2, 1099, or any other forms to report more specific types of income. It’s a good idea to get all of your receipts together for deductions so you can seamlessly input data into the tax documents.

The more tax prep you do before you start, the easier the process will be.

2. Look for Deductions and Credits

Tax deductions and credits can help to lower your tax bill and increase your tax return. You don’t have to be shy about claiming deductions or credits on your taxes if they apply to you, but don’t try to scam the system because it could come back to haunt you rather quickly.

When you’re looking at deductions, it can be a bit overwhelming. This NerdWallet article goes over some of the more popular deductions that individuals apply for.

Look through the list and figure out which ones apply to your situation. If you file with a service like, they can help you figure out which deductions you should be claiming.

3. Doing Federal and State Taxes

Remember, you have to file your federal and state taxes at the same time. The laws are different from state to state, so you may qualify for further deductions depending on where you live.

Some states don’t impose any income tax, so you won’t have to worry about filing if you live in one of those places.

4. Understand Timing

Taxes are due on April 18th this year. It’s never a good idea to leave your taxes until the last minute because you’ll rush through them and potentially make costly mistakes. If you submit your taxes last minute and there are inaccuracies, it’ll be impossible to fix them before a deadline.

In some scenarios, you can apply for a 6-month extension, but it’s best to start at least a few weeks ahead of time and file your taxes as far in advance of the deadline as you can. Late filing can incur penalties.

First-Time Tax Filing Made Easy

These are a few important first-time tax filing tips to get you started. Taxes can be scary, but there’s so much information and so many helpful services out there that you can do it on your own with little trouble. As long as you’re honest and file on time, you shouldn’t encounter any issues.

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