It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year again—tax season. Navigating the complexities of tax filing can feel a little scary and any mistakes can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of organization and the right tools, you can breeze through the process and even use it as a springboard for smarter money moves. Let’s break it down.
Step 1: Find Your Filing Service
Before diving into tax filing, choosing the right platform can impact how much you pay, your refund amount, and your stress levels. You have options: tax software, a tax professional, or doing it manually. But beware of many services that claim to be free, they often will hit you with hidden fees and costs.
Pro Tip! MoneyLion has partnered with ColumnTax to offer a tax filing service for RoarMoneySM customers with NO filing fees, State fees, or Federal fees. It also guides you through a step-by-step process for a quick and easy experience.
Step 2: Know Your Deadlines
Hopefully, you’re reading this before Tuesday, April 18th, 2024. That’s the last day you can file taxes without an extension. But if you need more time to file and submit for an approved extension, you’ll have until October 16th, 2024 to file your taxes. Keep in mind that if you owe the IRS tax money, you still need to pay your bill by April 18th—even if you receive a filing extension.3
Step 3: Gather Your Paperwork
The next step is to gather all the necessary information and documents that you’ll need all in one place. These forms can include:
- W-2 for employer income
- 1099-K, 1099-NEC, or 1099-MISC for other income types
- 1099-INT for interest received from savings or investment accounts
- 1098 for interest paid on student loans or your mortgage
- Receipts for any deductions
Using a dedicated app, like MoneyLion, can let you snap pictures of your forms and maintain organized records to significantly assist in this task.
Step 4: Check Your Deductions
Deductions reduce your taxable income, sometimes dropping you into a lower tax bracket with a lower tax rate—which could lead to a bigger refund.5 MoneyLion’s tax filing feature, partnered with Column Tax, is designed to get you all the tax credits and deductions you’re eligible for, which means a maximum refund guaranteed. But even if you’ve got a tax pro on your side, it’s smart to know the credits and deductions you can use. For simpler taxes6, most folks go for the standard deduction.
Step 5: Review, File, and Smile
You may be eager to hit that “submit” button when filing online, but you should review your return for accuracy. Double-check numbers, deductions, and personal information. When filing through MoneyLion, you’ll also have peace of mind in knowing ColumnTax will reimburse you for any penalties and you’ll have accuracy on your filing guaranteed.
Step 6: Use Your Refund Wisely
Now, for the exciting part—the refund! If you’re filing with MoneyLion, you’ll have access to that refund up to 2 days early4 with direct deposit to your RoarMoney2 account. So consider using it wisely, like paying off debt, depositing it into a high-yield savings account or a fully managed portfolio that aligns with your interests and level of risk. These are excellent ways to help make that money work for you, while keeping your money easily accessible for future needs.
Bonus Tip: Get Schooled On Taxes
MoneyLion’s new series “Know Money” hosted by Professor Brandon Copeland, teaches you all the tax information you should’ve learned in school. Plus, we’ve curated a tax season playlist filled with informative videos to level up your tax knowledge—all within the MoneyLion app.
Remember, filing your taxes doesn’t have to be a headache. With the right organization, tools, and smart financial moves post-refund, you can turn tax season into a stepping stone toward a stronger financial future. Don’t just file your taxes—use this time to set yourself up for financial success!
Stay up to date on everything 2024 tax-related. Check out all our tax blog content here.