Tax Day (April 15) is just around the corner. Have you done your tax homework? If not, time is of the essence. Here’s a quick to-do list to make sure you file your taxes on time:
Gather the Tax Documents You’ve Received in the Mail.
Generally, that’s anything that has been sent to you marked “important tax documents enclosed” or similar. Depending on your income/investments and situation, that might include:
- W-2(s), better known as Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. The W-2 reports any income earned from an employer, as well as any taxes withheld from your paychecks.
- 1099s for any untaxed income reported to the IRS. Some of the most common types of 1099s are 1099-MISC (miscellaneous income), 1099-INT (interest income), 1099-S (if you’ve sold any real estate), and 1099-R (distributions from a retirement plan)—but there are many others.
- 1098s for any tax credits. Some common types that might apply to you are 1098 (mortgage interest statement if you own a home), 1098-T (tuition statement), and 1098-E (student loan interest statement).
This isn’t an exhaustive list—and you might receive other forms, like the Form 1095A Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, Form 8965 Health Coverage Exemption, or other forms.
Assemble Any Supporting Documents.
These might include:
- Receipts for charitable donations;
- Statements showing any deductions and/or credits you claim (for example, from a job search or child care statements);
- Social security numbers for yourself and any dependents; and
- Contribution information to retirement or college savings plans, if applicable.
It’s also helpful to have last year’s tax return on hand, even though the federal tax forms have changed for 2018. (More about that in a moment).
Use the Online IRS Tool to Figure Out If You Need to File a Tax Return.
This interactive tool makes it really easy if you’re new to filing taxes or aren’t sure where to start. You’ll need to know:
- Your filing status—single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child;
- Federal income tax withheld; and
- Other basic information that comes from the statements/forms mentioned above.
Gather the Forms You’ll Need to File.
Once you use the IRS interactive tool to figure out what, if any, tax forms you should file, access them on the IRS website at www.irs.gov/filing. A few things to know about filing for 2018:
- No more 1040EZ or 1040A. The IRS set out to improve the 1040 tax filing experience and has eliminated the 1040EZ and 1040A. (Those forms were previously used for people with no dependents, taxable income of less than $100,000, and no or few adjustments to income or credits.) For 2018, every taxpayer must use the new Form 1040.
- Six schedules. Many taxpayers will only need to file the 1040, but some might need to supplement the 1040 with the following schedules:
- Schedule 1 – Additional Income and Adjustments to Income
- Schedule 2 – Tax/Alternative Minimum Tax
- Schedule 3 – Non-Refundable Credits (such as foreign tax credits, education credits, general business credits)
- Schedule 4 – Other Taxes (such as self-employment taxes, household employment taxes, additional taxes on IRAs or other qualified retirement plans)
- Schedule 5 – Other Payments and Refundable Credits
- Schedule 6 – Foreign Address and Third-Party Designee
Complete Your Colorado Individual Tax Form.
In addition to your federal tax form(s), here in Colorado, you’ll need to complete your individual state income tax form: Colorado Form 104.
Get Tax Help at FRCC.
Doing your taxes can be overwhelming, no question. If you need help, you’re in luck. FRCC students, alumni, and community volunteers are still preparing and filing tax returns free of charge for individuals with household incomes of less than approximately $55,000. Stop by for help:
3645 112th Avenue, Westminster, CO 80031
Saturdays until April 13
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
You can also get help at other free tax assistance sites in Colorado. Visit www.GetAheadColorado.org for more information and to find a site near you.