Taxes can be super intimidating, especially for young people with limited experience. Some people even believe that the IRS should just send us a bill every year instead of having to do the math ourselves. But that isn’t the case, so for now, we’re stuck with the status quo. Here are three do’s and don’ts to help you finish up tax season right!
Do save for tax payments.
If you’re a freelancer, like many Millennials and Gen Zers, you have to pay taxes quarterly and annually. Ensure that you’re putting money aside every paycheck, so you don’t get hit with a surprise bill and an empty bank account. Self-employment tax is about 15.3%; the best advice is to have that much withdrawn from your account every month, so you don’t forget or get tempted to spend.
Don’t settle for expensive fees.
If it’s going to be your first time filing your taxes, don’t just go with the first online company that promises you an easy process. Chances are, even if they say they’re free upfront, there will be hidden fees, especially if you file as a freelancer. Shop around, and try to get the best deal possible for your tax situation. The IRS website even provides links and resources for free tax filing services! Take advantage of every money-saving opportunity, especially if you’re expecting a bill from the government.
Do start early.
It’s never too early to get started on your tax planning. Even if you’re only organizing necessary receipts, it’s always a good idea to be prepared way ahead of time. You don’t get a prize for filing right on Tax Day; in fact, if you’re missing any paperwork, it’s best to know that ahead of time rather than scrambling at the last second. Don’t procrastinate, or the government could punish your wallet.
Is this your first time filing? Let us know in the comments!