It’s tax season! Aren’t you excited!?! But seriously, the Federal Tax Code is no joke. It can be confusing, stressful, and overwhelming. But don’t worry—we are here to help you. In this guide, we share with you everything you need to know about how to file your federal taxes in a way that is accurate and stress-free.
How to File Your Federal Taxes: A Comprehensive Guide in 2022
Before you get started, make sure you have everything you need.
- A spreadsheet or tax organizer. This will help you keep track of all your information as it comes in. You can use a program like Excel or Google Docs to keep your records organized and easily accessible, but even a simple Word document will do the trick.
- Copies of all the documents that are most important: W-2s and 1099s (or copies thereof), last year’s tax return (if they’re not already on file), ID card(s) that prove your identity and citizenship status such as a driver’s license or passport—in short, anything that proves who you are and what income sources were used to file this year’s taxes.
Use Free Filing Software
If you’re looking for a free solution, the IRS provides a free online filing option through its Free File system. If you make less than $66,000 per year (or have a household income of less than $100k), then this is the best option for you.
To use it, simply visit the site and select “Free File” from the menu on the left side of the page. From there, choose your favorite program: either H&R Block or TurboTax. Then enter your info and answers to questions about taxes so that they can fill out most of your returns for you.
It’s worth noting that both software programs are available on macOS as well as Windows—allowing almost anyone with access to a computer to complete their taxes without paying someone else to do them by hand!
Know Your Tax Obligations
The following are some of the most common reasons you may have to file a tax return:
- You have to pay taxes.
- You made money.
- You got a tax refund, including Social Security benefits, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.
- Your income from any source was more than $1,000 since 2020 (this amount is adjusted for inflation every year).
File Your Federal Taxes Electronically
- File Electronically
- Use a Tax Software
If you file your federal taxes electronically, you can choose to have the IRS send you a confirmation that your return was accepted. This way, you don’t have to wait until April 15 to find out if your return was received or not.
Track Down Missing Tax Forms
If you don’t have the tax form, it’s important to contact the IRS as soon as possible so that they can help you track it down. You have several options for contacting the IRS, including calling or visiting a local office.
For example, if you’re missing a W-2 (your employer’s 1098), call 844-545-5640 to get in touch with an agent who can help locate your form and make sure everything is filed correctly. If your request for help doesn’t give results within 30 days of making contact, then file without that document—or use Form 4852 to estimate what would be reported on it (see below).
As noted above: if there’s ever any doubt about how much money is coming in from taxable income sources (such as interest from savings accounts), then use Form 4852 to estimate what would be reported on those forms instead of waiting for them to arrive with official figures from banks and other institutions where these funds are held!
Get Help From the IRS
The IRS offers a variety of resources to help you prepare your federal taxes. These include:
- A free online tax calculator that enables you to estimate how much money you’ll get back from Uncle Sam.
- An online tool for checking whether you qualify for certain tax credits or deductions. All you need is the last four digits of your social security number and the year in which it was issued (for example, “19xx-xx-xxxx”).
- A list of local IRS offices so you can go in person if something goes wrong with your return.
The tax filing process is simple and streamlined.
The tax filing process is simple and streamlined. The IRS offers free federal income tax returns to all taxpayers, regardless of income level or age. You can file your taxes electronically or by mail, and there are several other options in between:
Filing online is the fastest way to receive your refund. Taxpayers who e-file their return will typically get their refund within 21 days of submitting it; if you owe money, you may have to wait up to three weeks before receiving a bill in the mail. If you’re filing jointly with your spouse, both spouses must sign the tax return before submitting it electronically—but not via paper mail! Make sure that both names are listed on every form and schedule included in your return package so there are no mistakes when sending in payment for any amount due at tax time next year.
Applying for an extension gives taxpayers more time—up until October 15th (for most people) or December 17th (for those living abroad). These extensions mean that payments aren’t due until April 15th though interest will accrue on unpaid balances starting January 1st.
Filing on paper is still possible but requires additional steps like mailing documents back-and-forth between agencies involved with processing returns like the Social Security Administration (SSA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), etcetera…
Don’t fret if you feel nervous or overwhelmed while file your federal taxes. Filing taxes doesn’t have to be difficult, and it doesn’t have to be confusing. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way!