Why do you have to file your 2017 tax return?
The purpose of filing your tax return every year is to show that you, as a taxpayer, meet your legal obligations to pay the government. This post was presented by Huy Han Alameda Tax Preparer.
What are the timeline for the filing?
The filing deadline for the regular tax return is April 15. You have until midnight of April 17, 2018 to file your 2017 tax return. In some cases, However, if you believe you may owe the IRS any money for the year, you must make your payment (estimated numbers) before April 17, 2018. Otherwise, you will have to pay interest and penalty in additional to your original tax liability. In some cases, you can request for the extension of time to file your tax return using this link.
If you have any questions related to income tax, please feel free to reach out to Huy Han Alameda Tax Preparer.
The Table below will show you the costs benefits between filing tax return yourself and filing with a Registered Tax Preparers:
|Your decision to go with:||Filing by Yourself||Filing with a Registered Preparer|
|1. Tools used||Software (online / desktop version)||Tax Preparer’s software|
|2. Cost||Varies (Free from IRS Website*)||Normally higher than compared to filing by yourself|
|3. Time||Varies 1 – 4 hours||Usually less than 1 hour|
|4. Tax Refund||Varies||Maximize your refund|
|5. Tax Liability||Varies||Minimize your liability|
|6. Support||Costly||Usually included with your fee|
Some of the following terms you need to understand when it comes to IRS Tax documents*:
- Earned Income vs. Unearned Income:
- Gross Income
- Standard Deduction
- Itemized Deductions
- W-2 Form (for Employees)
- 1099 Form (for Independent Contractors)
- Filing Status
- Filing Jointly
- Filing Separately
- Head of Household
*You also need to provide info about your healthcare plan (form 1095A, 1095B or 1095C).
My recommendation for first time tax filers (means you’ve never filed a tax return before) is that:
- First, you go with your online or offline Tax Software to figure out how much tax refund you will receive or how much tax liability (payment to IRS) you will need to pay
- Then, you can confirm your tax figures with a local registered tax preparers (you may have to pay a fee for their service, but it’s worth every dollar you pay).
- If your income and filing status haven’t change for next year’s tax return, you may decide to prepare and file your tax return by your own.
Want to Know How to E-file Your 2017 Tax Return, visit my post below:
For more information, please go to the IRS Website.
If you have an income below$66,000, you can use this free file software.
If you have an income above $66,000, you can use the free file fillable forms here.
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