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Filing Tax Returns

Filing tax returns has become easier and faster, due to electronic means through the computer, tax preparation software, and online tax preparation services.

But still, many people prefer to fill out their taxes, either by hand themselves or by the use of a tax consultant, accountant, or tax attorney, and send their returns directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by mailing them before the deadline.

Filing tax returns every year is a way of life for most people and it is either something that is looked forward to, if a refund is due, or looked at as a dreaded event, if money is owed. Either way, tax seasons come and go every year without fail, and income tax returns have to be filed and sent to the IRS, one way or another.

There are some very important preparation techniques that need to be observed if you want your taxes prepared with as much ease as possible. The most important objectives to keep in mind when preparing to file your taxes is organization and good record keeping.

Keep records of all transactions throughout the year that can be used as a deduction. This includes bills, purchases, and any other deductible expenses.

It is important to keep records on home mortgage interest and records of any deductible and non-deductible contributions that are made to IRA accounts, SEP accounts, Keogh accounts, mutual funds, and any other retirement or investment vehicles.

Before starting your tax preparation, collect all records for the year and have them available for your accountant, tax consultant, attorney or if you prepare them yourself. This will make it easy on every one involved and the records should be kept for at least 3 years and possible as many as 6 years.

If the IRS is going to audit you, it normally does the audit within 3 years of a particular filing, but it has been known to make an audit up to 6 years after the filing and in case of fraud, the IRS can go back as far as it wishes. If you are audited, you will want to have all of your records intact and presentable.

You, the taxpayer, should check your tax returns thoroughly before sending them to the IRS. You will be held responsible for any mistakes made on your returns, whether you pay someone to prepare them or you prepare them yourself.

Make sure the numbers are correct, the right boxes are checked, social security numbers are on the forms they belong on, you claim the standard deductions and exemptions that you are entitled to, and make sure your signatures are on the right lines.


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