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Filing Your Taxes 101
There are just a few things you should know about doing your own taxes before you get started. Getting comfortable with the info in this section will really smooth out the process, help you finish sooner, and get your refund on the way.
Before you even start, everyone on your return has to have a taxpayer ID number. That can be a Social Security Number, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN).
You'll also need the correct date of birth for each person on your return.
When you add each person to your return, the name, birth date and ID number must match what the IRS has on file. The IRS uses what's on the Social Security card or other taxpayer ID. If the name, ID number, and date of birth don't match, the IRS will reject your return and ask you to correct the information.
Documents to Have on Hand
Preparing your tax return will be easier if the tax documents you need are organized and readily available:
Taxes for the Self-Employed
For many, being self-employed is exciting: you’re your own boss, so you get to work how you please, where you please, when you please, and for whom you please. But with that greater freedom come greater responsibilities. And nowhere is that more true than with your taxes.
If you’re in business for yourself, or you want to be, there are certain differences between your tax return and that of someone who's an employee. For starters, the tax code allows a much greater range of deductions for the self-employed than it does for employees. The greater value of these deductions can help offset the greater work expenses that the self-employed have.
In this section, we’ll take a close look at what it means, tax-wise, to work for yourself: