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5 Simple Tips for a Stress-Free Tax Season

WPCU partner helping a WPCU member in a Member Center
​Tax season is in full swing, and the April 15th filing deadline is approaching quickly. Are you ready?

Navigating your taxes doesn't have to be stressful or confusing. By planning ahead and starting early, you can avoid a lot of the hassle and headache of the filing process! Follow our simple tips to prepare for a more stress-free tax season.

#1: Get organized

First, gather the forms and documents required to file your taxes. Here's an example of some of the documents you may need:

  • ​W-2 forms 
  • 1099 forms
  • Student loan interest statements
  • Mortgage interest statements
  • Receipts for medical or business expenses
  • Receipts for tax credits or deductions, such as charitable giving or childcare costs

Organize these documents and put them in a safe place. It will save you time when you're ready to file!

#2: File early in the season

Once you have your tax paperwork in order, file as early as possible in the season as you can. You will get your tax refund faster (if you're eligible for one), and you'll also help to prevent tax return identity theft. If someone has your Social Security number, they can file a tax return in your name and steal your refund. Filing early can help you stay one step ahead and keep your tax refund out of the wrong hands.

#3: W​atch out for IRS imposter scams

If you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone, be suspicious. It could be a scam! IRS imposter scams can happen at any time of year—not just tax time—so be vigilant to protect yourself.

#4: Get reliable help with taxes

If you have questions about your taxes, seek help from a trusted tax professional. Using a professional tax service is usually more expensive than doing it yourself, but the added peace of mind can be well worth the extra cost.

#5: Make the most of your refund money

When your tax refund arrives, it can be tempting to spend it right away. Instead, take a moment to consider how your refund can help you reach your financial goals. You could use a part of your refund to pay down your debt or build up your emergency savings. Or, put it towards something you're saving for, like buying a car or a down payment on a home. Remember, your tax refund isn't “free money." It's your hard-earned money that the government is returning to you!

Save time and prevent your tax refund from getting lost or stolen in the mail by choosing to receive your refund via direct deposit. Simply provide the IRS with your account and routing numbers, and your money will go right into your checking or savings account. With direct deposit, you can receive your refund in as little as seven days.

Not sure what to do with your tax refund this year? Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU) is here to help you find smart ways to make the most of your money. Meet with one of our Financial Coaches at your local Member Center to talk about your options.​

* The information contained in this article is for education and informational purposes only, and does not constitute professional advice. The information provided is subjective and you should always do your own research before making decisions. While reasonable efforts are made to include accurate and up-to-date information, Wright-Patt Credit Union makes no warranties or representations of any kind concerning the accuracy, timeliness or suitability of the information provided for any purpose. Validity of the content is not guaranteed and you are strongly urged to consult a professional or other authority in the appropriate field, such as a tax professional, before acting on any of the content.