It’s that time of the year again – tax time! There is no denying that feeling when you see the size of your tax refund (which was close to $3,000 on average last year).
To help you get ready for the tax season, we have some good news — TurboTax is officially open and accepting e-filed returns. That means that you can file now and be first in line for your tax refund. Although the IRS has not yet begun accepting e-filed tax returns, TurboTax will securely hold your completed taxes, transmit them to the IRS, and state when they open for e-file.
If you need some extra motivation, here are 5 quick tips to help you get a jump-start on your tax refund:
1. Gather Your Documents in One Place
Gather your documents, forms, and receipts reporting income and tax-deductible expenses in one place so you don’t forget anything come filing time. If you are self-employed, be on the lookout for the new Form 1099-NEC that now replaces Form 1099-Misc and reports your income. You will need to have that form in front of you when you file. TurboTax asks simple questions specific to you, but having your documents ready to go may save you time.
Pro tip: keep a folder next to where your mail comes in so that when W-2s, 1099s and other relevant forms start to roll in, you can keep them together in an easily accessible spot. Also, always have a copy of your prior year tax return in case you need to access your prior year adjusted gross income when you file.
2. Remember What You Did Last Year
It’s not hard to remember big things like getting married or having a baby, but our lives are busy and some little expenses can add up to big tax deductions! Don’t forget to have receipts in hand for expenses like charitable donations and medical expenses when you sit down to file your taxes — these additional expenses may help you get a bigger tax refund.
3. Go Online and File
When you go online with TurboTax, it’s easy to file your taxes. You don’t need to know anything about tax laws and tax forms. TurboTax asks simple questions about your life like, “Did you get married?” or “Did you have a baby?” and personalizes the program to you so you only see questions relevant for your unique tax filing situation. You can also take advantage of new TurboTax product enhancements to help you get your taxes done with confidence.
TurboTax also has COVID-19 guidance to help you navigate through impacts of 2020 like unemployment and stimulus payments.
4. TurboTax is Here So You are Never Alone
Don’t worry about knowing these tax rules. TurboTax will ask you simple questions about you and give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your entries. If you have questions, you can connect live via a one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or tax expert with an average of 12 years of experience to get your tax questions answered, all from the comfort of your own home. You can even connect virtually with a dedicated tax expert who will prepare and file your tax return in entirety with TurboTax Live Full Service. TurboTax Live CPAs and tax experts are available in Spanish and English, year-round and can even review, sign, and file your tax return.
If you have a simple tax return with no schedules, you may be able to get an expert review and file for free with TurboTax Live Basic if you file now through February 15, 2021. You may be eligible for TurboTax Live Basic if you file a simple tax return (Form 1040/Form 1040-SR or Form 1040/Form 1040-SR + unemployment income only with no schedules): that includes W-2 income, limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV, claiming the standard deduction, Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and unemployment income reported on Form 1099-G.
5. Don’t Wait to File
Last year, close to 75% of taxpayers received a tax refund, and the average direct deposit tax refund was close to $3,000, so there is no reason to wait to file your taxes. Additionally, it’s worth noting that e-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your federal tax refund — the IRS states that nine out of 10 taxpayers who e-file with direct deposit will receive their federal tax refund within 21 days or less.