The deadline to file tax returns this year is April 17, 2018 unless an extension is filed which, when accepted, will provide an additional six months to get them completed. So what is the big deal about filing tax returns? If the information you need to provide is minimal, you are claiming the standard deduction, you do not own a business, and you do not have unusual income, or expenditures then your tax returns should be easy to file. The more your situation differs from the things stated in the last sentence the more complex they will be to prepare.
One of the first things you should do is decide if you will prepare your own taxes, or pay someone else to do them. If you are filing your own taxes do you use paper forms, or software? If you are using software you need to evaluate which one is best for you. There is a review you can access on Nerd Wallet that covers some of the more popular options (see it here): https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/taxes/best-tax-software/. What about having someone else file your taxes for you? One thing to consider is your income and complexity. If you have a high income and complex issues then you should probably look for an experienced accounting firm who has certified public accountants specializing in tax issues to do the work. If your income is moderate, and your taxes are less complex you may want to choose a franchise that offers tax preparation help. One thing to keep in mind is the level of experience you feel comfortable with. More experience will sometimes cost more money, but may save you future headaches.
Whether you are preparing your own taxes, or having someone else prepare them for you there are many items you will need reference during the process. Some of those items to have close by are as follow:
There may be other items that should be included in this list specific to your tax filing needs. Getting the items needed together before preparing your tax returns will make your job easier and potentially more financially rewarding.