The progress of a country and the betterment of its people largely depend on the strength of a country’s economy. The most important proponent of a country’s economy is the revenue that it generates which can often largely depends on the amount of tax that a country is able to gather. This is an important aspect and needs to be remembered when people are filing for taxes. Yet, as people look to file their taxes, one question that often raises its head especially for people filing their taxes for the first time is How can I file my 2015 taxes?.
If you are someone who has been filing your taxes for a few years now and yet on the cusp of this year’s end you have the same how can I file my 2015 taxes question in your mind, you shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. Filing your taxes is one of the hardest things to do. This can be a daunting task even for the most experienced tax payer. The fact that tax rules and regulations change each year has an important part to play in this. With the changing tax situation a person cannot help but wonder on how can I file my 2015 taxes.
Yet, even if it’s your first time filing taxes or you have had a few more grabs at it, the most important thing to note is that the answer to the question how can I file my 2015 taxes will only be available to you if you relax and stop panicking. Filing your taxes is a yearly exercise, so if you are unable to master the answer to the question How can I file my 2015 taxes this year, you will come up with the same question each year with a changed year.
Once you have decided on filing you tax returns even if you are unsure of how can I file my 2015 taxes, you will need to know when you can start filing your taxes. The end date for filing of taxes in the IRS is 15th of April 2016 for taxes of the year 2015. However, as soon as the year 2015 ends and the new year 2016 starts people who are able to answer the How can I file my 2015 taxes question can start filing their taxes. Irrespective of the day the filing is done, your taxes will only be processed by the IRS once the April 15th deadline has passed.
Types of Tax Returns
When you ask yourself the question How can I file my 2015 taxes? You are actually referring to income tax returns since they are the most common types of taxes filed. Yet, even in this category it needs to be remembered that there are a number of different types of income tax returns. Each situation that a person is going through will often have a different tax form to cater their needs. The first step in answer of How can I file my 2015 taxes is by choosing the right form. The right form will allow you claim the correct deductions, income, credits etc all of which will typically apply to you. The most common types of tax return forms include:
- Form 1040EZ (Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers With No Dependents)
- Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return)
- Form 1040NR-EZ (U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents)
- Form 1040A (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return)
- Form 1040NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return)
IRS Tax Form 1040 (US Individual Income Tax Return)
If you are unable to answer How can I file my 2015 taxes, you will also be unaware of what the IRS Tax Form 1040 is. This is the most common tax form used in the US today and is also referred to as the long form. Unlike other tax forms mentioned above, this is the only tax form that allows tax payers to itemize deductions, adjust their income and be able to claim a number of tax credits and expenses. An important thing to note while you understand with regards to the How can I file my 2015 taxes question is that, while the long form may take longer to fill, it is easier and allows tax payers to enjoy the maximum benefits.
Despite their being a number of tax forms to choose from, people who are still wondering on How can I file my 2015 taxes, its best that they make use of the IRS 1040 tax form.
How do you get it?
There are many ways to get your hands on a tax 1040 form. The easiest way to do is by logging on to the IRS website and downloading the tax form into your computer and getting it printed to be filled in. Also most libraries and public offices will have these tax forms with them as well as the forms being available at the IRS offices at all times.
Sometimes you can also get your form delivered to yourself through mail. This though will need to be requested by the prospective or current tax payer formally to the IRS.
The deadline for the 1040 Tax form as well as all other tax forms is 15th April 2016 for tax returns of the year 2015. When you want the answer to How can I file my 2015 taxes, it is important to make sure that you have made note of the tax deadline and remember it throughout your filing to ensure you don’t slip up and are unable to file your taxes at the set juncture.
Filling the Form Out Step By Step
This is where you can learn the core of the How can I file my 2015 taxes question. If you are one of those people who can get scared looking at the sight of the long form and the question How can I file my 2015 taxes pops up in your head. This section will outline step by step the answer to How can I file my 2015 taxes.
Before you begin filing though, it’s mandatory for you to have the following information with you. Inability to do you would mean even if you are able to comprehend an answer to How can I file my 2015 taxes you will be unable to actually file your taxes properly. The following things are as followed.
- Social Security Numbers for you, your spouse, and any dependents
- Statements of interest/dividends from banks, brokerages, etc.
- Proof of any tax credits, tax deductions, or tax exclusions
- Your bank account number and routing number (for Direct Deposit)
- Dates of birth for you, your spouse, and any dependents
- Proof of identification
- Filing status and residency status
- A copy of your past tax return
- Statements of wages earned (e.g., W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, etc.)
Name, SSN and Address
How can I file my 2015 taxes? First up in line is making sure that you make sure that you are clearly identified by the IRS when they go through your form. For that, it is important that you write down you name, address and SSN or social security number on the income tax return form. The important thing to note here is that the SSN number needs to be accurate. Any mistake in the social security number can change your family details and reduce your tax refund. If you are a resident of the US not a citizen or a non resident its best for you to provide your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in place of the SSN number requested.
The IRS has a complex set of rules and regulations that need to be adhered to. If you are unable to do so, the IRS can hunt you down and fine you. Yet, part of those rules and regulations are exemptions both personal and for dependents to claim and make use of. If you want to know How can I file my 2015 taxes, it is important for you to know how exemptions can be claimed and what exemptions you are entitled to.
As mentioned above there are two types of exemptions. A personal exemption is basically an exemption that works in a way similar to a tax reduction since it decreases your overall tax bill. However how much of an exemption you are entitled to will largely depend on the amount of income you have. The information you give to the IRS to prove your claim for the personal exemption needs to be 100% accurate since it will impact on your overall tax bill. Sometimes you may claim someone as a dependent. For that to work, you need to be providing nearly half of that person’s support.
It is also best that the person whose exemption you claim is living with you. However, the living and blood relative requirement despite being important can in some cases be waved away.
The Correct Filing Status
How can I file my 2015 taxes, the answer is by making sure that you choose the correct tax filing status. There are a number of different taxes filling statuses for you to choose from such as:
- married filing jointly
- married filing separately
- head of household
- qualifying widow(er) with dependent child
You will typically qualify for one or more of the filing statuses and the choice will have to be taken by you on which one you choose and which one you don’t. Typically the filing status you choose will have a bearing on the tax exemptions that you can and cannot claim. Its best you consult with a tax accountant before making this choice.
How can I file my 2015 taxes, the answer to that question is closely related to the income you have. Once you have gone through the first three steps with relative ease, it is best that you know what to fill in the income section of tax form to ensure there is no mistake. Income simply put is defined as the money that you earned over the course of the year and it is the amount on which you will have to pay your tax. The best way to know what you taxable income is to take a look back at your W-2 statement. This generally known as taxable income will typically be your gross income. What is important for you to realize is that your income can be more than your annual salary.
Typically most people that ask themselves How can I file my 2015 taxes, assume that their annual salary is their yearly income that has to be entered into the 1040 form. Instead you income can include any money that you have earned during the last year. This will also include profits gained through real estate or stock sales etc. What is important for you to realize is that taxable income will typically include even lottery earnings, betting or race horses, etc. even bartered item’s cash value will be part of your taxable income for the year 2015.
This taxable income will need to be entered into the form. If you are still wondering on How can I file my 2015 taxes, this is an important step in doing so. But care must be taken that you have not undervalued your taxable income. If that is the case and the IRS find out you will be forced to pay extensive penalties and fines. The most important thing to keep in mind when filing your taxes is that any and all information you enter needs to be accurate at all times.
How to Pay
Once we have answered the question How can I file my 2015 taxes, it is important to realize that filing your taxes isn’t the only thing that you need to do. Once you have filed your taxes, paying your tax bill is as important if not more. Payment of your taxes holds typically the greatest importance since this is the money that will help the government run the country and in turn help you by providing you with facilities, security and development.
Payment of taxes is an obligation more than an option. If you are a law abiding citizen of the US and you want your country to prosper, there is no other option but to file and pay your taxes. How would you feel if one fine day your employer calls you up and tells you that you won’t be getting your salary for the work that you have done this year? How would you feel? Dejected? Saddened? Failure to pay your taxes is taking up the role of the employer and making the state the employee.
Now, once the importance of paying your taxes has been highlighted, it is important that you realize how you need to pay. There are three primary ways of paying your taxes.
- Paying your taxes online with a debit card, a credit card etc.
- Paying by way of a mail with the cash enclosed in an envelope or the mail having a bank draft in favor of the IRS.
The Actual Filing
The actual filing of your income tax return can be done in three separate ways. Once you have gone through the three and chosen one of the following methods to file your taxes you will know the complete answer to the How can I file my 2015 taxes question. The three methods of actually filing with the IRS are as follows.
Tax Preparation Software
The use of information technology has increased to such as extent that people are now looking to file their taxes to the IRS online. This can be done through one of a number of tax preparation software available online. These programs not only allow you to file taxes online, but can also in some situations ask you common questions. The software is also designed in a way to help you tax advantage of as many tax credits and deductions as possible.
From the standard of information technology to the age old way of tax filing, a lot of people tend to file taxes the old way. Printing the form, filling it up and personally handing it over to the IRS office is the way paper filing works. This method is still used by a number of people today because it is though to be more secure.
While the above two methods are where you do then tax filing yourself. This is one method where you file tax professionals to do your job. For people who struggle to answer the How can I file my 2015 taxes question, this is the best way to file their taxes. A professional tax accountant will take only a small amount of money to relieve you of the cumbersome task of filing taxes.
Filing taxes is not an option but a responsibility that each and every one of us needs to fulfill on a yearly basis.