Tax Tips for New Filers

Tax Planning

Updated 3/16 – TurboTax Absolute Zero is no longer available, but you can still file your federal tax return for free with TurboTax Federal Free Edition. Get started today!

Filing your income taxes for the very first time may feel intimidating, but you don’t need to worry! With a few tips and suggestions, you can get your tax return filed accurately and on-time, with a tax refund waiting in your bank account within just a few weeks.

Organize Your Tax Documents
By now, you’ve likely started to get some of the annual tax documents you need to file your taxes. The deadlines vary from document to document, but most of them should be sent out by January 31st.  As you get each document, put them all in the same folder so you can access them quickly when you sit down to file your tax return.

You should expect

  • A W-2 from your employer
  • 1099-Misc or 1099-K if you are self-employed
  • 1099 documents from banks and financial institutions for interest-bearing accounts
  • A Form 1098-E if you have a student loan

You may also see some forms related to your health care.  If you purchased health insurance on Healthcare.gov or your state’s health insurance Marketplace, you will receive a 1095-A form, which will be just like entering a W-2 with TurboTax. If you have health insurance through your employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, you may receive a 1095-B or 1095-C, but you don’t need these forms to file, per the IRS.  They are for information purposes only.

In some cases, a form issuer will have you download your tax forms rather than send them in the mail. TurboTax securely imports tax information directly from more than 1.3 million employers and financial institutions, eliminating data entry and increasing accuracy for effortless tax preparation.

You May Be Able to File Form 1040EZ or 1040A…for FREE!
If you have a simple tax situation, you may qualify to file Form 1040EZ or 1040A. There are a few qualifications, but major ones include having a taxable income of less than $100,000 and taking the standard deduction. Luckily, you’re not required to know tax laws or tax forms tax forms because TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and give you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your answers. If that wasn’t good enough, you can file your federal and state tax returns for absolutely zero dollars if you can file a 1040EZ or 1040A with TurboTax.

E-File & Direct Deposit Your Tax Refund
E-Filing is a great option when filing your taxes. Not only do you avoid a trip to the post office, not to mention the possibility of the post office losing your tax return, but also you get your tax refund even faster. E-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your tax refund.  The IRS expects to issue nine out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days of IRS acceptance to taxpayers who e-file with direct deposit.  If you mail your return and request a check, it can take much longer.

Don’t wait to file! If you stay organized, e-filing and electing direct deposit will get your tax refund back to you as soon as possible. You can even file from your phone.  If you file with TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, or the new TurboTax Self-Employed you can also connect live via one-way video to a tax expert or credentialed CPAs or enrolled agents to get your tax questions answered when you need it.

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