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How To Prepare Your Income Tax Return

The first step in your income tax preparation is to work out your total income. A person?s total income includes many kinds of receipts such as wages, interest, alimony, lottery winnings and many more. It is important to gather all of the appropriate information for any money you have received during the appropriate tax year before you start your income tax preparation. Be extremely thorough in this aspect of your income tax preparation because the financial penalties for not including all forms of income can be severe.

The second step in your income tax preparation process is calculating the amount of deductions that you can apply to your total income. There are two basic categories of deductions to consider Itemized and standard deductions and Adjustments and exemptions. The next stage of your income tax preparation is to subtract your deductions from your total income to calculate your taxable income and look up your taxable income in the table that is supplied with the tax form. This gives you the amount of tax that you need to pay. The final stage of your income tax preparation is to subtract your tax payments, such as employer withholdings, and credits. After you have finished your income tax preparation you will know if your payments and credits exceed the tax required or not.

If you want to ensure that you pay the lowest amount of tax possible you will want to spend a lot of your income tax preparation time working out if you have more itemized deductions than the standard deduction amount. The standard deduction depends on your filing status and is adjusted each year for inflation. For most people the standard deduction is greater than the total of their itemized deduction but it is still worth calculating an itemized deduction total as part of your income tax preparation. Medical expenses, state and local taxes, mortgage interest and investment expenses are just some of the items that can be included in itemized deductions. Adjustments are deductions you're allowed to claim and should be assessed very carefully during your income tax preparation. Every taxpayer, and their dependents, also qualifies for a personal exemption and during your income tax preparation ensure that you have included all of your qualifying dependents.

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