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IRS Issues the Top 10 Tax Time Tips

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IRS Tax Tip 2015-60, April 14, 2015

With April 15 right around the corner, the IRS wants to make sure you get the help you need at tax time. Make things easier by not waiting until the last minute. Here are the top 10 tax time tips:

  1. Gather your records.  Make sure you have all the tax records you need to file your taxes. This includes receipts, canceled checks and other records that support income, deductions or tax credits that you claim on your tax return. 

  2. Report all your income.  You will need to report your income from all of your Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statements, and Form 1099 income statements when you file your tax return.

  3. Try IRS Free File.  You can prepare and e-file your tax return for free using IRS Free File. Free File is only available on IRS.gov. If you made $60,000 or less, you can use free name-brand tax software. If you earned more, you can use Free File Fillable Forms, an electronic version of IRS paper forms. Either way, you have a free option available on IRS.gov.

  4. Try IRS e-file.  Electronic filing is the best way to file a tax return. It’s accurate, safe and easy. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. If you owe taxes, you have the option to e-file early and pay by April 15.

  5. Visit IRS.gov.  IRS.gov is a great place to get what you need to file your tax return. Click on the "Filing" icon for links to filing tips, answers to frequently asked questions and IRS forms and publications. Get them all at any time.

  6. Use IRS online tools.  The IRS has many online tools on IRS.gov to help you file. For instance, the Interactive Tax Assistant tool provides answers to many of your tax questions. The tool gives the same answers that an IRS representative would give over the phone. If you want to find a tax preparer with the qualifications and credentials that you prefer, use the new IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers. IRS tools are free and easy to use. They are also available 24/7.

  7. Use Direct Deposit.  The fastest and safest way to get your refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit.

  8. Weigh your filing options.  You have several options for filing your tax return. You can prepare it yourself or go to a tax preparer. You may be eligible for free help at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly site.

  9. Check out number 17.  IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, is a complete tax resource that you can read on IRS.gov. It’s also available as an eBook. It can help you with many tax issues, such as whether you need to file a tax return, or how to choose your filing status.

  10. Review your return.  Mistakes slow down your tax refund. If you file a paper return, be sure to check all Social Security numbers. That’s one of the most common errors. Remember that IRS e-file is the most accurate way to file.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 16-Oct-2015