In the 2021 tax season, you have until April 15 (Tax Day) to file your taxes. This process can be overwhelming even if you’re familiar with the different types of taxes, when and how you pay them, and why they’re important.
But filing your 2020 taxes doesn’t have to be a headache! Read on for an overview of taxes and a few helpful tips to make your filing process smooth and stress-free.
1. Know the basics: Learn all about taxes and tax returns
There are 3 main types of U.S. taxes: income tax, sales tax, and property tax. This filing guide will focus on personal income tax, which are payments on your earnings to local, state, and federal governments to fund public works and services.
Tax payments are mandatory, and your tax return helps make sure you are meeting your tax obligations. If you have paid more than you need to, you will get a refund from the government after your tax return has been filed and validated.
For an easy crash course on taxes, check out Liberty Bay’s FA$Ttrack course, Taxes: The Basics.
2. Save Time & money: File with TurboTax and Liberty Bay
If you don’t want to hire a Certified Personal Accountant (CPA) to fill out your tax return for you, and aren’t confident in filing your tax return by yourself, TurboTax offers an easy way to file your taxes electronically. All Liberty Bay members can save up to $15 by using the Liberty Bay TurboTax microsite to file their taxes.
This easy-to-use software walks you through the whole filing process with blurbs you can read to learn more about certain pieces of information related to your taxes. TurboTax searches over 350 tax deductions and credits to find every tax break you qualify for so you get your maximum refund, guaranteed. It’s like having a CPA right in your computer or phone!
Get your maximum refund by filing your 2020 taxes through the Liberty Bay TurboTax microsite.
3. Stay organized: Keep important forms and personal information on hand
Not sure what forms and personal information you need to file your taxes? Liberty Bay can help. Use our FA$Ttrack course on taxes to learn about the tax forms and personal documents you will want to collect and keep on hand, as well as common tax terms and information about the filing process. Here’s a brief checklist to get you started:
- Your filing status (What does this mean?)
- Your Social Security or Tax ID number for yourself and any dependents
- Proof of all income, including unemployment, Social Security, earned interest, and investment gains
- Proof of interest paid on mortgages or loans
- Proof of charitable contributions via forms or receipts
- Form W-2 from your employer
- Form 1099 from clients if you worked as a contractor
- Form 1040, used by U.S. taxpayers to file your annual income tax return
- TurboTax member benefit. Any member that files their taxes with TurboTax through our microsite can save up to $15. I’ve attached a document with messaging, but if you have any further questions please let me know.
If you file through TurboTax, they will guide you through each step, including information about which forms you need and when. If you need to pause at any time to collect more information, TurboTax will save your progress so you can come back and pick up where you left off. File through the Liberty Bay TurboTax microsite to save up to $15!
4. Practice safety: avoid tax scams by being cautious and filing early
As with everything related to your finances, watch out for scammers! Don’t give out your personal information to anyone who is calling, emailing, or messaging you on social media to collect money or personal information during tax season – including phony charities. The IRS especially will only contact you with a physical letter if they need information, never by phone, email, or social.
If you’re filing digitally, make sure your computer is protected by anti-virus software to keep your personal information safe. Avoid using public computers to upload personal information and file your taxes if possible. It’s also safest to file through TurboTax as early as you can. This will prevent scammers from filing a phony return in your name, and make it clearer when you’re being contacted by scammers and phishers.
Feeling better about filing your taxes? Get started with Liberty Bay! Save up to $15 and get your biggest possible return by using the Liberty Bay TurboTax microsite to file your 2020 taxes.