Tax day approaches: how to file and how to save

April 10, 2018

Isaiah Cordova

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    Tax Day in the United States falls on April 17 this year, meaning that it is now time to file your tax forms.

   Taxes can be confusing for first-time filers, so it’s important to understand how to do them.

    Choosing to file online is the fastest and most efficient method of filing income, and federal tax refunds can be received through direct deposit.

    E-filing is often simplified through online services like Intuit TurboTax and H&R Block. The IRS reports a 20 percent error rate on written tax returns, while 1 percent of electronic returns are erroneous, so it may be in your best interest to file online, for simplicity and convenience’s sake.

   Important forms you will need are your W-2, which keeps track of an employee’s wages as well as the taxes withheld. Your employer should have sent you your form W-2 prior to Jan. 31.

    TurboTax will allow for users to file their returns for free if they make under $30,000 annually, or if you are in the military. H&R Block allows for users to file for free as well, and offers additional services for a fee.

    Form 1040 is the tax return form. The instructions that are included with the form will guide you through the process of calculating the sum of your tax returns. E-filing services will simplify this form into questions and text boxes to input the values.

    Tax exemptions add to your tax return. If one is filing single and is not claimed as a dependent on another’s tax return, then they can claim one tax exemption, which acts like a tax deduction.

    As soon as you finish filing your federal and state taxes, your tax return will take 21 days to process, and you should get your federal tax return then.

   But don’t forget — you can face penalties if you don’t meet the deadline.