Filing Taxes: A Guide for First-Time and Experienced Filers
Tax season is here, and with it comes the important task of filing your taxes. Whether you're a first-time filer or a veteran, understanding the ins and outs of filing taxes is essential. Tax filing requirements are largely determined by income, filing status, and age. Different filing statuses, like single, married filing jointly, head of household, and others, all have minimum income thresholds set by the IRS. Additionally, if you owe any special taxes, such as uncollected Social Security, Medicare, or railroad retirement tax on tips, you must file a tax return. Even if you’re not required to file a tax return, you may want to file to claim tax credits and overpayments that could result in money being returned to you.
The standard deduction this year is $12,950 for single filers and married couples filing separately; $19,400 for head-of-household filers; and $25,900 for married couples filing jointly. If your deductions exceed the standard, it may be a good idea to itemize your deductions. However, if you’re uncomfortable with the extra paperwork, accountants say you should consider hiring a professional. Paying a tax professional is also wise if you now receive income from many different sources, have investment losses you need help dealing with, received an inheritance, or settled an estate.
If your taxes are straightforward and you have limited income sources, doing your own taxes may be the way to go. You can save yourself money and should be able to complete your tax return fairly quickly using basic tax software or the free forms found on the IRS website.
No matter which filing route you choose, understanding the basics of filing taxes and the deductions available to you is key. Doing so can help you get the most out of your tax filing experience and ensure you don’t miss out on any deductions or credits that you’re eligible for.
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1. “Do I need to file a tax return? Who should, and shouldn't file in 2023” USA TODAY, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2023/01/30/who-should-needs-to-file-tax-returns/11134514002/
2. “Should You Do Your Own Taxes? How To Decide Between DIY and a Tax Professional” GOBankingRates, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.gobankingrates.com/taxes/filing/should-you-do-your-own-taxes-decide-between-diy-tax-professional
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