What is the tax filing process?
To prepare for the final income tax return filing of your return, there is a process that happens. Hopefully, to ease your year-end frustrations, your income tax process has been yearlong. You have been maintaining the appropriate logs, recording your expenses and income properly, and doing monthly bank reconciliations. If not, it is never too early to start for next tax year. First, you receive your income documents before January 31, 2007. Regardless of whether you work as an employee or are self-employed, there is a January 31, 2007 deadline for issuing these documents to you. If you do not receive them by this date, call the IRS. They can help you obtain this form.
Employees will receive a form W-2. Known as Withholding Allowance, these tax forms will be mailed to you by your employer. And, if you worked for more than one employer, you will have more than one W-2 to file along with your 2006 income tax return. You will send the Federal copy of your W-2 along with your 2006 income tax return. If you are self-employed, you will receive the IRS Form 1099 for various reasons. The only time you will receive these forms, however, is when an entity or individual paid you any money during 2006. These income reporting tax forms need to be mailed to you by anyone who paid you money and did not withhold any income taxes. For instance, your client will send you a 1099-MISC for the job you completed that cost them $2,000. If you are not self-employed, you may also receive a 1099. For instance, your bank will mail you a 1099-I for interest paid on your savings account. If you received any dividends from your stock, you will receive a 1099.
The first step, therefore, in your income tax return filing process will involve gathering all your tax documents together. Have all your income documents ready. Get all your receipts, cancelled checks, and bank statements together. You want to verify the amounts you paid to see what expenses you can claim and possibly deduct on your income tax return. Go through your checkbook for 2006 and be sure you catch everything that you paid and can deduct. Hopefully, you included an explanation for applicable expenses. That makes it easier come tax time.
Secondly, get a hold of any tax forms, publications, schedules, and instructions you need in order to file your income tax. These can usually be obtained from the IRS via various methods (online, in person, local sites).
Third, fill in your income tax return. Or, take it to a tax preparer for double-checking and submission.
Fourth, double-check your return for mathematical errors, or missing information. Be sure every applicable line has something on it.
Fifth, sign and date your return. If filing jointly, be sure your spouse has signed the tax return. Last, if mailing your return, attach all documents. This includes your W-2. Staple them. Do not use a paper clip or leave them unattached. Do not forget to include your tax payment, if you owe any 2006 taxes. Put in envelope, attach postage, and mail.
H&R Block Tip: If filing electronically, have all the information available to transfer over into your e-file return. Find a computer. Find a suitable service provider who charges a reasonable fee (or free). Then, the software will take you step-by-step into the income tax return filing process. Then...take a deep breath and relax.
Taxes Frequently Asked Questions
What are online tax services like?
Who are the top on-line tax services?
What if I am late filing a tax return?
Who will be e-filing in 2006?
Can mid size and large companies e-file?
Can Charities and Non-Profit Organizations file electronically?
What is the advantage of using the IRA e-file Application system?
What is the quickest way to get a tax refund?
Can self-employed taxpayers use the IRS e-file?
What if I want to know what the status of my refund is?
What do I do if there was an error on a ďjust in timeĒ e-file?
When can credit card payments be made for this years tax returns?
How do you sign an e-file tax return?
How should I prepare for tax season?
How do I determine if my SSI is taxable?
What kind of reputable tax services are available?
What form should I use when filing federal taxes?
What are some ways to get ready for tax season?
When hiring a personal planner, what should I consider?
Can you tell me about estimated taxes?
How do you calculate your estimated taxes?
What if I owe the IRS?
What are some tips on paying estimated taxes?
Is there a checklist for preparing my income tax?
Is there any way I can file my taxes for free?
What if I need additional time to file your tax return?
Can I deduct anything from a house closing on my taxes?
Can I deduct sales tax on my returns?
Where can I get federal tax forms?
Where can I get state tax forms?
Can I order or download tax forms from the IRS?
How do I know what federal tax form to use?
Can I use IRS Form 1040EZ to file my taxes?
Can I use IRS Form 1040A to file my taxes?
Should I use IRS Form 1040 to file my taxes?
Where do I send my tax forms once Iím done preparing them?
What is 1040 Central?
Is it true that the tax filing deadline is different this year?
What is Telefile?
What is e-File?
Is there an advantage to using the IRS e-file option?
What is Free File?
Where can I get help preparing my taxes?
Is the IRS offering hurricane assistance?
What if I canít file my tax return on time?
What electronic payment options does the IRS offer?
How do I know if I need to file a tax return?
What is the Taxpayer Advocate Service?
Am I eligible to get help from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service?
How do I contact the IRS?
When should I receive tax documents from employers and others?
What tax documents will I receive from employers and others?
What should I do if I havenít received all my 2005 tax documents?
What personal records will I need to complete my 2005 taxes?
Are there still things I can do to lower my 2005 taxes?
Should I open a dependent care flexible spending account?
Should I open a medical expense flexible spending account?
Should I open a health savings account?
What is a SEP IRA?
Who can establish a SEP IRA?
Can I have both a SEP IRA and other retirement accounts through my employer?
Should I increase my 401(k) or 403(b) contributions?
What are the retirement account catch-up contribution limits for 2005?
What steps can I take now to lower my 2006 taxes?
Should I hire a financial planner?
How do I know if I should itemize on my 2005 tax return?
Does my filing status affect my deductions?
What are the rules on deducting charitable cash donations vs. donated goods?
What types of vehicles can be claimed as a charitable donation?
What is the 2005 mileage rate for deduction?
What is the standard deduction for singles?
What is the standard deduction for married couples?
Can I deduct moving expenses?
Can I deduct contributions to my health savings account?
Can I deduct any or all of the cost of the hybrid car I purchased in 2005?
Can I deduct state income taxes I paid in 2005?
Can I deduct state sales taxes I paid in 2005?
What is the deadline to make a deductible contribution to my IRA?
Is there a limit on the amount I can deduct for IRA contributions?
Are all medical expenses deductible?
Can I deduct home-related expenses?
Is there a limit on the amount of mortgage interest I can deduct?
Can I deduct the interest I paid in 2005 on my student loans?
What type of taxes and fees are not deductible?
Where can I find a complete list of qualified deductible items?
Whatís the difference between tax software and financial planning software?
What are tax preparation sites?
Should I consider using tax software to prepare my taxes?
How do I pick the best tax software?
Is the cost of tax preparation software deductible?
What are some of the most popular tax software programs?
Is there a cost to e-file my return?
Does tax software help you plan your taxes?
Should I use a tax preparer instead of tax software?
How do I choose a tax preparer?
Can I get a tax deduction for donating my car?
What are some self-employed tax deductions?
What about mileage rates?
Can I deduct any taxes I have paid?
What are some miscellaneous tax deductions?
What are some rental property tax deductions?
Can I donate used clothing?
What are some medical expenses I can deduct?
Can I deduct my home office?
What do I need for preparing my income tax return?
What do I need to remember for my tax return preparation?
Where can I get free tax return preparation?
How do I choose my tax preparer?
Who are some good paid tax preparers?
What is a good tax preparation tip?
Where can I go for military personnel income tax preparation?
Can someone else deal with the IRS about my tax return?
Do I need to pay someone to prepare my tax return?
What is an amended return?
Do I need to file a tax return?
How can I figure my wittholding?
What are the deadlines for filing 2006 income taxes?
What are personal tax credits?
What are the federal income tax rates?
Do I need to file a state income tax return?
What is an exemption?
What is my filing status?
Where do I mail my IRS 2006 tax return?
What are IRS Publications?
What does the IRS website contain?
How do I obtain IRS tax forms?
What is the IRS Code?
I need an extension. What do I do?
How can I pay my taxes?
What are some income tax filing penalties?
Are there tax filing timeframes?
What are some free income tax filing methods?
What are income tax preparation classes?
What are some income tax filing methods?
What about tax filing signatures?
How can I get my tax refund?
What is Teletax?
What income tax form do I file?
How do I stay current with tax laws?
What is new for 2006?
What is an Installment Payment Agreement?
How do I keep good records?
What is the telephone refund?
Why should I care about my tax preparer?
What is tax day?
What is barter income?
What is a tax resolution?
What is the tax filing process?
What is an audit red flag?
What are some reasons for delaying processing on my tax return?
Can I split my income tax refund?
What about state tax returns?
What is a tax refund calculator?
What order do my attachments need to be in?
What is a tax return status?
What is the difference between a tax form and a tax return?
How can I find out when I'll get my income tax refund?
What is business tax software?
What form can I buy my tax software in?
What are some online tax software programs?
What are some other tax software for me?
What is a payroll tax program?
What is an tax software series?
What are some tips for buying tax software?
What are some tips for using tax software?
What are different types of tax software programs?
Do I need a tax planner?
What is estate and gift tax planning?
How do I estimate my taxes?
What is retirement tax planning?
What are some business tax planning tips?
What is tax planning?
What is a Tax Planning Guide?
What makes a good tax planner?
How do I obtain tax planning?
What form is used for change of address?
What is Form 1099?
What are some IRS forms?
What are some IRS tax forms?
What is a EIN?
What are some payroll tax forms?
What are some employee tax forms?
What is an IRS Tax Form Instruction?
What is a Form W-9?
What are some benefits of efiling?
Am I eligible to use efile?
What is free efile?
Is Efiling for me?
How do I make tax payments with efile?
What are some methods of efiling?
What is an electronic signature?
How do I prepare for efiling?
How do I get my tax refunds with efile?