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3 steps to simplify tax prep so you can file on time

Mar 08, 2024

Spring is noted for the sense of rejuvenation it inspires when temperatures warm up and flowers begin to bloom. But in the United States, the onset of spring is followed shortly thereafter by tax season, which typically generates entirely different feelings than the first sight of spring blooms.

The deadline to file tax returns in the U.S. in 2023 is Tuesday, April 18. With that deadline looming, now is a good time to consider these three basic tax preparation tips, courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service.

1. Access your IRS account - Individuals can access or create their IRS account at irs.gov/account. That ensures taxpayers have the latest information about their federal tax account and enables them to see information about their most recently filed return. A visit to irs.gov/account also allows individuals to make payments and apply for payment plans, among other options.

2. Organize your tax records - The IRS urges taxpayers to wait to file their returns until they have all of their records, including:

- Forms W-2 from employer(s)

- Forms 1099 from banks, issuing agencies and others payers, including unemployment compensation, dividends, pension, annuity or retirement plan distributions

- Form 1099-K, 1099-MISC, W-2, or other income statement if you worked in the gig economy

- For 1099-INT if you were paid interest

- Other income documents and records of digital asset transactions, including convertible virtual currency and cryptocurrency, stablecoins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

- Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, to reconcile advance payments or claim Premium Tax Credits for 2022 Marketplace coverage

- IRS or other agency letters

- CP01A Notice with your new Identity Protection PIN

3. Check your Individual Tax Identification Number - The IRS notes that an ITIN only requires renewal if it has expired and is needed on a federal tax return. An expired ITIN can delay the processing of a return, which in turn can delay tax credits and refunds.

Taxpayers filing with the help of a licensed tax professional are urged to contact that individual to inquire about any additional information they may need to file a return on time. Make such an inquiry well in advance of the deadline to file so you have sufficient time to gather all of the necessary documentation.

More information about filing taxes is available at irs.gov.