Tax Preparation and Filing Tips for 2014

Before filing your tax return, make sure to double check all the calculations and details, including your Social Security Number and the Personal Tax Identification Number (PTIN) of your tax preparer (if the return was prepared by a professional). You do not want the IRS to reject it and ask you to file again. To avoid complications, spend a little time in reviewing the information even if the return is prepared by a professional.

If you are looking to hire a tax preparer, make sure that the preparer has a PTIN. Be careful of preparers that promise to get you huge refunds without knowing your situation. They may include inaccurate income figures and false deductions on your return to claim exaggerated refunds. The IRS holds both the taxpayer and the tax preparer responsible for fraudulent returns, and charges heavy penalties for the tax fraud. Therefore, stay protected from unscrupulous tax preparers.

Filing returns electronically is better for those who are computer-savvy. They may use the electronic filing system, Free File, on the IRS website to file their taxes electronically for free. Using this system, you can file your returns before the tax season opens and the system will automatically file them when the IRS begins accepting tax returns. Another advantage of electronic filing is that it is fast and more secure. 

You can check the status of your electronically filed return on Where’s My Refund? This is an IRS resource that allows taxpayers to check the status of their tax return and the approximate date on which they may receive the refund. Wait for 24-hours after electronically filing your return and 4 weeks after the paper filing of a return to check its status.

It is advisable to prepare your taxes on time and not allow any delays in filing. Many taxpayers make mistakes in preparing their taxes because they procrastinate and file their returns at the end of the tax season.

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