You’ve filed and sent your tax return.
But now what? What to do? Well, it’s not over. Follow our guide to post-filing and take the next steps.
First step: check it over (again) and store
First off, double check your taxes and make any necessary amendments as soon as possible. Changes should be made before you send off the taxes in the first place and if you filed online then there are less likely to be inaccuracies because the information and figured inputted are automatically calculated and electronically processed. However, it’s always good to double-check - or even triple-check - once you’ve sent the tax file off to the IRS because it’s always good to clarify and make sure everything is correct. Make sure you store all the relevant documents - you might need them later on.
Next step: to pay tax or to receive tax
The next step is to check your tax return status. If you are owed tax then you’re likely to receive it via bank transfer seven to 21 days after IRS approval (or three to four weeks via a cheque in the mail). If you owe tax then you can make an arrangement to pay this. You can pay via direct bank transfer, using a credit card or debit card or via an installment plan. If you can’t pay your tax bill for whatever reason, then there are options but you need to take action as soon as possible in order to ease the burden, because the longer you leave it the more you’ll owe because the IRS charges interest on owed taxes. Possible solutions may include an Offer-in-Compromise if you can’t pay off the full debt, an installment payment plan or borrowing money from friends, family or the bank to pay what you owe.
I’ve received a tax audit? Now what do I do?
Don’t fret. A tax audit is when the IRS has examined your tax file closely and wants to query it. If you receive a tax audit then you need to read it carefully and follow what is required of you. Every tax audit is different and focuses on a specific issue. You may be asked to provide additional tax information, make changes to your return or verify your identity.
What yo do when you receive your tax return
Congratulations! You’ve received a tax rebate! However, before you feel tempted to spend it all, there are some smart ways to put your tax return to good use. You can save it, invest it, pay down debts, use it to pay for important finances - such as utility bills - or save it to pay off future tax bills.
Preparing for next year
Now this you’ve sorted out taxes this season, you can start preparing for next year. Preparing in advance means that you can reduce the stress and pressure on yourself once the next tax season comes around. No one likes to feel frazzled and rushed and tax season can be stressful even at the best of times. Therefore, it’s best to get organized - your future self will thank you for it. Start saving files and documents, factor in future life changes that are set to occur within the next year - such as buying a home or having a baby - keep track of all expenses, check your earnings each quarter, speak to a tax advisor and set up an account with an online accounting software like TaxSlayer.
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