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FAQ: Preparing Your Taxes

FAQ: Preparing Your Taxes

With tax day right around the corner, you may have some questions regarding how and when to file your taxes, which forms you will need to submit, and even whether you should prepare your return yourself or turn to a professional for help. Luckily, we’ve put together answers for the most frequently asked questions during tax season.

When should I submit my return?

This year, the official day tax returns are due is April 15, 2019. However, if you learned anything while you were in school, you know it’s never a good idea to wait until the last minute to complete important tasks and assignments. When preparing your tax return, you should always account for enough time to ask questions or contact a professional tax preparer in case you run into any issues.

And while you don’t want to file your taxes last minute, you also shouldn’t file them too early. The typical deadline for employers and banks to send necessary forms is January 31, so you’ll need to wait until then to make sure you received all the documents you need and avoid having to amend your return.

Which forms do I need to submit?

If you are employed, you’ll need to submit a W-2, which will be sent to you by your employer. Other forms commonly submitted include a 1098, which details the amount of interest and other expenses paid on a mortgage, and a 1099, which reports various types of income other than wages and salaries. For example, in a 1099, any interest earned on bank deposits, CDs and bonds should be reported.

Be sure to keep your mailing address up to date with your bank so that you receive your 1099 and 1098 forms on time. If you prefer to receive an electronic copy of your forms, check if your bank offers online banking so you can download and print your forms as soon as they’re ready.

Can I prepare my tax return myself, or do I need to seek help from a professional?

When it’s time to submit your return, you have two options: you can either take the DIY route or you can turn to a CPA or tax preparer to submit your return. If you decide to file your taxes on your own, you can file online for free on IRS.gov or with a variety of other reputable online tax filing services.

However, if you are self-employed, a small business owner, own several rental properties or investments, or are filing independently for the first time, your tax documents may be more complicated, so you may want to consult a CPA or professional tax preparer to submit your return.

What life events can make my tax return different from the previous year?

Certain life events can determine whether you’ll pay more or less tax than the previous year. Some of those life changes include getting married, having a child, inheriting or winning money, obtaining new investments, buying or selling a home, and taking distributions from a 401(k). Be sure to let your tax preparer know about any such changes in your life.

Next steps:

  1. If you have additional questions, check out IRS.gov for instructions on how to submit your taxes and a list of all the forms you may need.
  2. Keep up with more of our Personal Finances tips by subscribing to receive articles in your inbox each week.
  3. Contact me to learn more.
Renee Nichols

Renee Nichols

Operations Specialist (515) 271-1006 Email Renee

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Renee Nichols is a Operations Specialist at Bankers Trust. She joined Bankers Trust in 1997 as a teller at the East Branch, and she worked in a variety of customer service and relationship banking positions before moving to her current position. In this role, Renee is the Universal Lead and is responsible for opening, servicing and maintaining consumer and commercial accounts. Prior to joining Bankers Trust, Renee spent four years at Union Planters Bank in Memphis before moving to Des Moines. She studied at the University of Memphis and Upper Iowa University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree. Renee believes that not only building relationships, but also listening and communicating effectively with her customers is essential. Renee is actively involved in the community and enjoys volunteering with the Bankers Trust financial literacy program Read to Save, Latino Heritage Festival, Celebrasion, Variety Telethon, as well as with her children’s various school activities. Renee has been recognized for her service with an Outstanding Sales Achievement award in 2011 and Certificates of Achievement for outstanding volunteer service from Bankers Trust, the Oak Ridge Neighborhood and Read to Save.

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