Guide to Filing Personal Taxes

Filing Personal Taxes - Complete Controller

You must have seen people working on their tax calculations only to have a frustrated look on their faces each year. As consumers, we are all familiar with sales tax and the tax you pay on gas at the pump. However, income taxes can be daunting because you are required to file personal income tax returns.

Part of the confusion inevitably comes when you consider certain people are exempt from income tax while others have financial information that is simple or even complex. Individuals with simple financials must file a single on-page 1040EZ form. However, those with complex financials, like homeowners, parents, or people with dependents and business owners, often require the help of an accountant or a tax attorney to navigate the process of filing their taxes. 

This guide will cover the basic process of filing your taxes. Then, you can research federal websites, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for further details and forms.ADP. Payroll – HR – Benefits

Do You Need to File?

A citizen or United States resident who has reached a tax-paying age and meets the other IRS requirements must file their income tax returns.

Filing Status

A filing status refers to a filer’s marital status. The ‘Head of Household’ option is someone not married but responsible for supporting a household, such as a divorcee or a widower. Married couples can choose to file their tax returns jointly or separately. 

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Which Tax Form Should You Use?

You should use the simple 1040EZ form to file your taxes if you have simple assets and financials. You can use this form if you have a low taxable income (typically below $100,000), are only utilizing the standard tax deduction, are not claiming any others, and do not have any dependents.

If you do not meet the criteria for 1040EZ, you would need to use form 1040A. If you do not meet the criteria for 1040A, you will be required to use a complex 1040 form to file your Income Tax.

Should You File Electronically or Stick to the Traditional Paper Form?

There are two methods for filing returns: mailing a signed paper form or using the electronic method called E-File. There is an option for downloading and printing fillable forms, which you can sign and mail to the IRS. Otherwise, you must find an IRS E-File service provider, which may have a fee. You can also use third-party tax preparation software for E-Filing. If you E-File and are eligible for a refund, you will often receive your refunds quicker than filings received via mail. Download A Free Financial Toolkit

When Should You File Your Taxes? 

The filing is generally required to be post-marked by the 15th of April. If you face any kind of tax filing issues, you can apply for an extension until the 15th of October. Similarly, there is also an automatic extension if you are out of the US. Remember that the extension for filing taxes differs from an extension to pay taxes owed. The IRS also offers various payment options if taxes are filed and due.

Is There Any Room for Mistakes?

Everyone has different specifics regarding taxes, and they may be affected by many factors, including homeownership, investments, alimony, business ownership, children, and other dependents. It is easy to make mistakes when dealing with such complexities, and the IRS allows you to correct errors. However, you can save time and money if you file them correctly the first time. You should consult a tax attorney or accountant to help you with the tax filing process to avoid any confusion, delays, or possible legal action.


Navigating tax season can be overwhelming, but understanding the basics can ease the process. Whether determining your filing status, choosing the right tax form, or deciding between electronic or paper filing, this guide has you covered. Remember important deadlines, seek professional help if needed, and strive for accuracy to minimize errors and maximize efficiency in your tax filing journey.

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