Tax Season | Getting Started

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It’s that time of year again! Taxes. Before I was married, taxes were a breeze – the 1040EZ was the only thing I had to worry about, and Jared filed with TurboTax. But now, we’re happily married, live in a new state, I receive wages differently than I did so before, and with that comes a whole lot of new that we’re not so knowledgeable on – filing jointly, receiving wages on a 1099 (no withholding), do I need to file quarterly or yearly with my pay, do I need to set myself up as self employed/independent contractor or will a Schedule C work, how do I correctly deduct expenses under a 1099, how do to we determine state income taxes (FL doesn’t do this, but CO does indeed), etc.

After trying to research the questions and answers on my own, we determined it was best to seek an accountant’s expertise and knowledge. I recently contacted a nearby accounting firm and will be setting up an appointment soon, something I’m quite excited about! I cannot tell you what a relief it is to know that through them, we will be filing correctly (and again, WHAT A RELIEF to have someone’s professional expertise. No more stress!). We’ll also be able to learn how to correctly and effectively file our taxes going forward, so our investment in an accounting firm this year will definitely pay off in our new-found knowledge and tax preparation competence. Next year we’ll be very prepared.

As of now, we’re awaiting the arrival of our W-2’s and 1099s. Hopefully they’ll arrive sooner than later so that we can get started on filing right away. A note: As a general due date, employers have until February 2nd, 2016 to send you a 2015 W-2 earning statement & a 1099-MISC statement. What can you do in the meantime? Gather required documents (earning statements, last year’s tax return, proof of expenses you can document), and decide how you’re going to file(through mailing a hard copy, using tax preparation software, using an accountant, etc.). A note: To have your tax return done by a professional costs on average around $250-$300, depending on what all is involved. If you have a simple return, then a tax service or software is probably your best way to go and costs a lot less. If you have a more complex return and need professional expertise (like in our case this year), then an accountant will be more helpful to you.

Happy organizing and preparing! Here are some helpful sources on getting started:

13 Tips to Make Filing Taxes Easier (The EveryGirl) | Finances, Simplicity

How to Get Your Money’s Worth and Choose the Right Tax Preparer (Forbes) | Finances

What to Consider Before You Do Your Taxes, Tax Season 101 (Real Simple) | Finances

Paying Our Taxes (Ligonier Ministries) | Encouragement

Pay Your Taxes But Trust in Christ (The Gospel Coalition) | Encouragement

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