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How would you guide someone just learning to file their taxes?

I am curious how tax advisors would help someone of a young age learn how to do their taxes. #taxes #income-taxes

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Blake’s Answer

Hi Rachael,

Google is actually a great resource. I'm a tax accountant, yet I find myself searching tax related questions on google all of the time. Millions of Americans don't know much about how taxes work, so chances are if you have a question, someone else has posted a similar question.

Before you file, you'll need to make sure that you have gathered all appropriate documentation. If you have a job, you'll need Form W-2 from your employer. Those usually arrive in February. I've included a link below that has a list of everything you will need along with some other helpful information.


Tax prep websites like www.hrblock.com and www.turbotax.com are also great resources. If you only have income from one or two jobs, those websites will usually help you do your return for free! They are also designed to ask you simple questions about your life in the last year and most people are able to prepare their tax return in under an hour. The instructions are usually pretty easy to follow and you can save yourself up to $200 filling out the forms online instead of having them done in person.

If you have any more specific tax questions, I would be happy to answer them below.

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Sinhye’s Answer

Hi Rachael,

I was very stressed out the first time I filed my taxes with no background in Tax. So I chose to get some help from free online service. Most of the online tax services are designed to be auto computed after you answer listed questions. The process is very straight forward. However, I found that it is very important to keep your documents (such as your W-2s, any documents from your health insurance company, medical bills,,, etc). These documents will help you out answering all the questions they require and significantly reduce your time spent on your tax return. If you accidentally lost the documents or never owned the documents, that's fine. You can look up the form numbers/names online. Usually, it is very easy to find a way to get these tax related documents.

Also, it is very important to double check your answers. If you answer incorrectly, the process could get really complicated . So please double check your personal information (address, social security number.. etc).

Hope you find my answer to your question helpful!

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Keith’s Answer

Hi Rachel,

Although many people are intimidated by preparing their own tax return, it is not that difficult, especially for a young person. If you have the documentation and follow the instructions on the IRS webpage Blake pointed out, it can be pretty easy.

There are also simplified forms that you may be able to use, the 1040-A and 1040-EZ. If you meet the requirements to use those, they are much simpler than the full 1040. The 1040-EZ is just a single page!


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Charles’s Answer

Use TurboTax's free software if you are using the standard deduction.

If you want personal assistance and qualify based on income, check out the VITA program, which is volunteer run and free of charge.