How to Do Taxes on Your Own: Your Complete Guide

If you earn a steady income or even an inconsistent one, you're likely paying taxes. But just paying them isn't enough. You have to file them yearly.

The last thing you want to do is wait until tax season rolls around and then find yourself scrambling to figure out how to do your taxes on your own.

That’s why we created this step-by-step guide for the typical person who wants to learn how to prepare their taxes at home without all of the stress that comes with doing it themselves.

Why do I have to file a return?

If you exceed the standard deduction, filing your return gives you the chance to reconcile your tax bill with the IRS. You might have overpaid through paycheck withholdings, entitling you to a tax refund you can spend how you please. There's always a chance you underpaid.

How do I file on my own?

You'll file using Form 1040. You can check out software like TurboTax to help. Make sure you have all of your deductible expense receipts, charitable donations, business expense receipts, and more handy.

How do income tax brackets work?

It's a progressive tax system. Meaning the higher levels of taxable income, pay a higher tax rate. These rates are adjusted annually for inflation.

How do I calculate my taxes?

Slowly work through the 1040. You'll calculate your total income and total dedication. Then you'll have an amount that you owe. If you prepaid, you're good. If not, you'll have to send the IRS a check.

How do I reduce my income?

You can use tax deductions and tax credits to lower your taxable income. There are some common deductions you may be eligible for.

Tap the link below for more on how to do your taxes on your own.