Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes. The IRS encourages people to get a head start on tax preparation. Not only do you avoid the last-minute rush, early filers also get a faster refund.
Here are seven easy ways to get a good jump on your taxes long before the April 16 deadline rolls around:
- Gather your records in advance. Make sure you have all the records you need, including W-2s and 1099s. Don't forget to save a copy for your files.
- Get the right forms. They're available around the clock at www.irs.gov in the "Forms and Pubs" section.
- Take your time. Don't forget to leave room for a coffee break when filling out your tax return. Rushing can mean making a mistake, which can be expensive.
- Double check your math and Social Security number. These are among the most common errors on tax returns. Taking care on these reduces your chances of hearing from the IRS.
- Get the fastest refunds. When you file early, you get your refunds faster. Using e-filing with direct deposit can get you a refund in 14 to 21 days.
- E-filing is easy. E-filing catches math problems, provides confirmation your return has been received and gives you a faster refund.
- Don't panic. If you have a problem or a question, remember the IRS is there to help around the clock. Try our web site at www.irs.gov or call our 24-hour toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040.