What Do I Need To File My Taxes Properly

What Do I Need To File My Taxes Properly

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Filing a tax return is compulsory. It’s the only way the government know what you have earned and whether you have paid enough tax throughout the year. Failing to file a return or making a false one is a serious offence, and that’s not something you want to do.

However, tax return forms are traditionally complicated. This is because they are designed to cover an array of different types of income. That means multiple pages and boxes that need to be ticked. It’s confusing and, for many, daunting.

The good news is that, for most people, the return is surprisingly simple to fill in. You just need to get all your items together first.

Computer & Internet

The majority of people now need to complete their tax returns online. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make it any easier to complete, there are the same number of pages and boxes.

To do this you will need access to a computer with the internet. If possible it’s best to do this in the comfort of your own home. If that’s not possible, see if a family member or close friend has a computer you can use.

Shredder

When doing a tax return you’ll need a collection of documents. Some of these will need to be kept, they prove your earnings declaration. Others can be scanned and saved, it’s the easiest way of knowing where they are.

Scanned documents and those that have helped you work out the right figures don’t need to be kept. But, you can’t simply throw them away, they have too much personal information on them.

The best course of action is to invest in a shredder, you can get high-quality paper shredders here. This ensures the paperwork is destroyed, preventing anyone from stealing your identity.

Income

To complete your tax return you need to know your income for the year. This may simply be a summary of your earnings by your employer. It could even be taken from every payslip from the year.

For many people, employment pay is only part of their earnings. You may have bank interest, dividends, rental income, or a variety of other options. In short, if you earn money you need to add how much it is for the year and include it in your income on your tax return.

This is where the return can get complicated as you may have to put different figures in different sections of your return.

Allowable Expenditures/Deductions

On a tax return, you are allowed to reduce your earnings by specific things. This can be expenses if you run your own business or what is generally referred to as deductibles. That’s things like gifts, the cost of managing your tax affairs, and even income protection assurance.

Have all these items listed before you start your tax return. It will make it much easier to do it in one sitting.

Additional Tip

If your income and expenses are similar to the year before you’ll find it beneficial to get a copy of your last tax return and keep it handy. It will help remind you which box each figure needs to be entered into, potentially saving you a lot of time.

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