Get ready, filers! Tax season 2024 officially kicks off Monday, and while it may not be your favorite pastime, navigating the process doesn’t have to be a hair-pulling ordeal. With a little preparation and these eight key tips, you can make filing your 2023 return a breeze:

Tax Season 2024 Countdown: 8 Steps to a Smooth Filing

1. Deadlines: Mark your calendars! April 15 is the filing deadline for most folks unless you request an extension (April 17 for Maine and Massachusetts). Remember, even with an extension, you still need to pay any owed taxes by April 15th to avoid penalties. Check the IRS website for extended deadlines in disaster areas.

2. Last Year’s Lifeline: Your 2022 return is a treasure trove of info for this year’s! Use it to gather relevant documents and identify financial institutions that may have sent you online tax forms. Remember, online access is key these days, so ditch the paper chase if possible.

3. Life Changes, Big Returns: Did you say “I do,” welcome a tiny human, or experience another momentous life event? These shifts might impact your tax liability, so keep them in mind as you fill out your return. If your refund or tax bill seems way off, double-check your calculations before panicking.

4. Side Gig Shuffle: Got paid through Venmo or other payment apps for your side hustle? Check for a 1099-K! While the $600 reporting threshold has been delayed, some states require it anyway. Be mindful of personal transactions mixed with business income, and adjust your return accordingly.

5. Health Insurance Credits: Received advanced premium tax credits for your marketplace health insurance? Fill out Form 8962 using information from Form 1095-A. Missing the form? No worries, you can still claim credits at filing time.

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6. Congressional Catch-Up: Tax breaks may be brewing! Congress is debating a bipartisan package that could expand the child tax credit and increase deductions for small business equipment purchases. If you think these provisions apply, consider holding off on filing until the dust settles.

7. Refund Rocket: Want your refund ASAP? Electronic filing with direct deposit is your champion. Be meticulous though – accurate information and double-checking calculations are key! Remember, EITC refunds won’t appear before mid-February, but the non-EITC portion might come sooner. Track your refund journey with the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund” tool.

8. Free File Freedom: Low income? Filing is actually free with several software providers if your Adjusted Gross Income is $79,000 or less. New for 2024, the IRS’s pilot program “Direct File” allows free federal filing in select states and for specific employee groups. Check eligibility and state options before diving in.

Tax Season 2024

By following these simple steps and staying informed, you can conquer tax season 2024 with confidence. Remember, preparation is key, and the IRS website is your friend! So, gather your documents, choose your filing method, and get ready to claim your well-deserved refund. Tax season 2024 doesn’t have to be a nightmare – make it a paperwork victory!

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