Filing your taxes yourself? Here’s Where to Start

Women filing taxes sitting on couch

Filing your taxes can be challenging, but it is possible for those who are determined. The most convenient route for businesses is having an accountant attend to their taxes. A professional accountant can ensure that you get the most considerable returns on your taxes. 

However, some people prefer a hands-on touch. If you would like to file your taxes, here are the first things you should consider.

Think of significant life changes that affect your income

When thinking of your tax return, take stock of the major events of the previous year, and figure out how your tax rates could change. For instance, marriage and divorce are two of the most significant influences on a person’s financial standing.

Changing jobs, new household family members, and deaths in the family are also significant life events with tax implications. Furthermore, acquiring or selling property and getting hit by natural disasters are similarly financially altering. 

Make contributions to your Individual Retirement Account

You can donate to your IRA for the previous year right up until the deadline. For example, individuals who wished to contribute to their IRA for 2019 had until July 15, 2020, to do so.

Individuals 50 years and older can get tax deductions of up to $7,000 if they make the payment. You could also qualify for saver’s credit, which nets you anywhere from $1,000 to 2,000 if you contribute.

Itemize your deductions whenever you can

The government provides reasonable amounts of standard deductions, but you could make your refund more substantial if you keep track of qualifying expenses.

Itemize deductions and look up additional expenses that could get you over the threshold for standard deductions.

Be familiar with tax laws and your filing status

People can file as single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, as the head of a household, or as a qualifying widow/er with a dependent child.

The status sets your income tax rate and enables you to qualify for certain deductions. It also makes you eligible for certain credits.

Deductions have changed in the country’s new tax laws, so you must keep track of changes that can affect how you file. You could read the updates on the official U.S. government website, find more details on the IRS’s website, or consult with a tax accountant.

Know what you are eligible to claim as credit

Some people can claim credit for earned income, adoption, child and dependent care, energy, the elderly and the disabled, homebuyers, and savers.

When you are aware of your status and deductions, you will also have a good idea of the types of credit available. 

You can check the official U.S. government and IRS pages for these matters. Working with a tax specialist will help you easily identify the types of credit you can claim; he or she can double-check your research and offer better options based on your circumstances.

Final Thoughts

Filing your taxes means collecting enough accurate information from your financial standing in the previous year. If you keep organized records and know the intricacies of submitting to the IRS, there should be no problem at all in your filings.

Most people need help with their tax returns. Whether it’s your first time to file or have significant life changes to consider, hiring an accountant is often the quickest way to get through tax season.

Pattar & Co. CPA has you covered; We are Indianapolis tax experts, and we provide tax planning, preparation, and education to individuals and small business owners. Get in touch with us for more information.


About Pattar & Co. CPA

Pattar & Co. CPA is an expert in all areas of accounting with offices in Indianapolis & Fort Wayne. We provide tax, bookkeeping, payroll, and accounting services to individuals and businesses across Indiana. If you’re looking for a knowledgeable local CPA in the area, let’s talk!

what we do


What else we're talking about.