Dos and Don'ts of Preparing TaxesDo
- double check everything.
- file online for faster, easier, more accurate return preparation and a faster refund.
- use the IRS's Freefile service, if you qualify.
- be sure to have all required forms, receipts, schedules and other materials (W-2's, W-2G, 1099-R, 9465, etc.).
- check only one filing status on your return.
- file with a preparer affiliated with a professional organization and;
- file with someone you trust and of whom you can ask questions or;
- file with an accredited tax preparer or enrolled agent, if necessary.
- file online with a site registered with Thawte and/or TrustE (security and privacy certification companies) and listed as an authorized e-file provider.
- print off your self-prepared tax form for e-filing and have a friend or family member check it over.
- check over your printed form once more just to be sure.
- report suspected tax fraud to the IRS (phone at 1-800-829-0433).
- be sure to file on time.
Advertiser Links for Dos and Donts[what's this?]
- purchase a refund anticipation loan (RAL) until you are clear about all your other options and know how much money you are losing.
- file with a tax preparer who promises you a higher return than other tax preparers.
- file with a tax preparer who bases his or her fee on your refund amount.
- forget that you are always ultimately responsible for the accuracy and legality of your tax return.
- file online if you are uncomfortable with the technology.
- use an online file preparation service that does not make major yearly upgrades.
- file unless you have printed off copies of all your forms and reread the hard copy.
- forget to check the accuracy of social insurance numbers for you, your spouse and all dependents.
- forget to sign your form.
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