Every year, you learn something new when you file your taxes. Hopefully, every time you figure out how to do it more efficiently. Maybe you discover a new way to file that takes less time. Perhaps you maximize your tax refund or determine ways in which you will owe less the next time around.

Whether you’ve filed your income taxes for this year or you’re still planning to do it soon, here are some of the top things it can teach you about tax preparation so that it’s easier next year.

The Deductions You Can Take

There are many tax deductions you can take on your income tax return. You may have taken as many as you can this year, or you might have forgotten some but now it’s too late. Either way, the next time you file, you can make sure to claim them. Some of the tax deductions you may be able to take include the student loan interest deduction, the American Opportunity tax credit, an IRA deduction, medical expense deduction, mortgage interest deduction, and the state and local tax deduction.

How Much of a Refund You’ll Receive

If you expect to be in the same job or make the same amount of money as a freelancer or business owner next year, then you can determine how much of a refund you might receive. Still, you could always get a higher refund next year, especially if you use TaxAct’s My Tax Plan, which could boost your next refund by over $200. All you have to do is file your taxes with TaxAct to gain access to this valuable service.

How Much You May Owe Next Year

Along with figuring out how much of a refund you could receive next year, you may be able to see how much you’ll owe the IRS. This would apply if you’re staying in the same job or expect to make the same amount of money and take the same credits and deductions. It likely won’t be exactly the same, as your expenses could certainly fluctuate throughout the year and you may be able to claim more in deductions.

Ways in Which You Can Make Filing Easier

Let’s say that this year, you didn’t separate your business expenses from your personal expenses and at the last minute, you had to scramble to figure out where your money went. Now, you know that to prepare for next year, it’s a good idea to have a separate business credit card or bank account where you exclusively spend money on your business. Using a spreadsheet to track expenses could also be a good option.

Another way to make filing taxes easier is to look at the possible deductions you’ll be able to take for next year. For instance, if you’re taking the business interest deduction, then calculate what you paid in interest at the end of the year prior to filing your taxes. If you use a home office, figure out how much square footage of your home it occupies. And if you drive a business vehicle, log how many miles you drive as you go so you can deduct that mileage from your return.

A Better Method for Filing

Filing your own taxes shouldn’t have to be hard. After doing your taxes this year, you may want to find a more efficient way to file. You want to find a way that is both easy and cost-effective whether you do it yourself or you enlist the help of a tax expert. Thankfully, you can utilize TaxAct for all of your filing needs.

Using TaxAct for Filing Your Taxes

TaxAct offers a number of different filing options. You may qualify for free tax filing or you could select our Deluxe, Premier, or Self-Employed e-filing products. You can also e-file with Xpert Help in case you need guidance from a CPA, EA, or tax expert.

Simply go to TaxAct and sign up for the plan that works best for you. Then, you’ll be well prepared for this year, next year, and years to come.

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