How to do Taxes for the First Time

Back when I had to file taxes for the first
time, I was both lost and confused, and honestly, a little bit frustrated that after years of
education learning things like trigonometry and poetry, they had never taught me something
so common as how to file your taxes. But at least I can find the cosine of a triangle,
right? Anyways, this video is the video I wish I
had back then and hopefully it will help you get through doing your taxes for the first

So, without further ado, let's get started. So I'm not gonna waste your time on this grand
explanation for why we pay taxes. All you really need to know is that we pay
taxes to fund the government, you need to fill out both a federal and a state tax return,
and the deadline to pay your taxes is April 15th. When people talk about "filing taxes," all
they really mean is filling out these complicated tax forms and mailing it to the Internal Revenue
Service, or IRS, along with any payments that you owe for taxes. I'll put a link in the description below to
help you figure out if you even need to file taxes but generally speaking, if you had a
job at any point during the year, you should file your taxes because you might owe more
taxes now, or you might be getting a refund because you overpaid on your taxes throughout
the year. Alright, so how do you actually file your
taxes? Well, there's 3 main ways to do it. The first way is to fill out those tax forms

I'll put some links down in the description
to learn more but honestly, this is probably one of the worst ways to do it, especially
for your first time. Moving on. The second way to do it is to just have a
professional do it for you. This can be a good option if you have a particularly
complicated tax situation such as owning your own business, going through a major life change,
or you forgot to pay taxes in the past. But frankly, this option can get expensive
and if this is your first time filing taxes, your situation is most likely not that complicated
to even need help in the first place.

That's why most people use the third option
which is to use tax preparation software to help you do your taxes. The way tax preparation software usually works
is that they ask you a bunch of questions about your income and possible deductions
and then they fill out your tax returns for you. This option is pretty easy and very popular
but it also often comes with a fee. However, many tax preparation software can
be used for free if your adjusted gross income is less than a certain amount.

You can kind of guesstimate your adjusted
gross income by adding together all the sources of income you've made throughout the year. The IRS has a list of free software that you
can use to file your tax returns that I'll link down below. When you're looking through the list of options,
pay extra attention to the requirements you need to meet in order to use their software
for free, and check whether or not they provide a state tax return for free as well. Remember that you need to file both federal
and state taxes so you want a software that can fill out both for you at the same time
to make things easier. If you aren't sure which one to use, I've
found that TurboTax is one of the easiest, but it's also one of the most expensive options
to choose. On the other hand, FreeTaxUSA is often praised
for actually being free while a lot of other "free" tax software finds a way to sneak fees
into your return.

The only drawback I see with them is that
they charge a flat fee for your state tax return, but honestly, the price is still pretty
good and they are very upfront about it. And lastly, my personal favorite tax preparation
software has always been TaxAct. They're a good alternative to TurboTax but
a little bit cheaper, but just like TurboTax, they also find little ways to upsell you on
certain features. Now before you use any of these methods to
file your taxes, make sure that you have all your tax related documents ready. Your employer should be sending you a form
W-2 which basically lists how much money you've made throughout the year and how much in taxes
has already been withheld from your paycheck.

You might also get forms from your bank if
they've paid you more than $10 in interest throughout the year, or forms from any other
sources of income that you earned. Most of these forms are supposed to be sent
out by January 31st so if you are expecting a form and you haven't received one, you should
contact your company to see if a mistake was made. Well, I hope this guide will help you through
doing you taxes for the first time but before I go, I do have one more piece of advice which
is to save a copy of your completed tax return once you finish it. You never know when you'll need to reference
your old tax returns in the future so try to keep a physical or a digital copy of your
tax returns for your own records.

Anyways, thanks for watching. If you found this video helpful, give it a
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