Living Abroad

How to file your taxes in the US

If you read our previous blog post on tax season and how to avoid identity theft, then you will find this one very helpful.

Although submitting your taxes may be difficult for some; it's a crucial chore that you shouldn't put off. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to file your taxes in the US:

1. Compile your documents

Before you file your taxes, you'll need to gather all the necessary documents. This includes your W-2 form(s) from any employer(s) you had during the tax year, 1099 forms for any freelance or contract work you did, and any other relevant financial documents such as bank statements, investment statements, and receipts for deductible expenses.

2. Select your filing status

Your filing status is determined by your marital status as of the last day of the tax year. The most common filing statuses are single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, and qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child. Your filing status will determine your tax rate and deductions.

3. Determine your deductions and credits

There are several deductions and credits available to taxpayers in the US. These include the standard deduction, which is a set amount that reduces your taxable income, and itemized deductions, such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and medical expenses. You may also be eligible for tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit.

4. Fill out your tax forms

The most common tax form used by individual taxpayers is Form 1040. You'll need to fill out this form and any applicable schedules based on your income, deductions, and credits. If you're not sure you can do this yourself, consider hiring a tax professional to help.

5. Submit your tax forms

Once you've filled out your tax forms, you'll need to submit them to the IRS. You can do this electronically using tax preparation software, mailing in a paper return, or by using a tax professional who can e-file your return for you.

6. Pay any taxes owed

If you owe taxes, you'll need to pay them by the tax deadline, which is typically April 15th of each year. You can pay online, by phone, or by mail using the payment voucher included with your tax forms.

Remember, filing your taxes is an important responsibility as a US citizen or resident. By following these steps, you can ensure that you file your taxes accurately and on time.

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