Essential Tax Tips for First Time Tax Filing

tax filing tips

Need some tips on filing taxes for the first time? With these tax tips, filing your taxes for the first time can be a little less daunting.

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Tax Tips for Filing Taxes

How you approach your filing can make all the difference between getting it done quickly and a massive tax headache.

Here’s how to make filing taxes easier:

Step 1: Gather all the information you will need, and keep it on hand while filing your taxes.

Step 2: Start the process early to avoid any penalties and deadline related anxiety.

Step 3: Use free resources to help you manage your filing and tax-related issues easily.

Free Resources to Help You With Filing Taxes

Your first stop for reliable, updated tax resources should be the Internal Revenue Service. This website ( has resources to help out any tax filer, including those in the military service, individuals with disabilities, and seniors or retirees.

Resources also include an Interactive Tax Assistant (, various Tax Tools as well as links to the different forms and documents you will need.

More Tax Tips and Questions

Do I Need to File a Tax Return?

The answer will differ from one case to the next, but filing a tax return may be beneficial, even if you are not required to do so by law. If you’re unsure of the requirements, this resource ( forms-pubs/about-publication-501) can help you determine if you need to complete a tax return.

Can I File My Own Return or Do I Need Professional Help?

In many cases, you can file your taxes without professional help. If you only have a single income from formal employment or your tax status is unchanged (meaning that you didn’t get married or divorced, you didn’t acquire a business or make large investments) and you have a clear understanding of what your tax software requires from you, then you can file your own tax return. However, it is still a good idea to consult the relevant resources to guide you through the process.

You may need professional help with filing your taxes if you have more than one stream of income (from investments, a business, rental income, and the like.) or if you want to get a strategic plan together for structuring your taxes. If you don’t understand the process and you’re worried about making mistakes it is always advisable to get professional help with filing your taxes.

Which Dates Do I Need to Remember for 2020?

Visit our blog for all the dates that you need to remember for the 2020 tax season. Keep in mind that there are different dates for federal and state taxes.

At Georgen Scarborough Associates, PC, we are committed to giving each client personal attention to ensure that your tax preparation is handled quickly and efficiently. For more tax tips and information on our services, visit our website.

What are Estimated Tax Penalties and 
How Can I Avoid Them?

Individuals who are self-employed will be all too familiar with estimated tax penalties which may crop up in the instance that you have under-payed your tax obligation. The good news is that, in most cases, these estimated tax penalties can be easily avoided, even if you have severely underestimated the amount of money that you owe the IRS. Here is what you need to know.

avoid estimated tax penalties

How to avoid estimated tax and under-payment penalties

There are a handful of different ways to avoid having to pay any estimated tax and under-payment penalties. They are as follows:

You can avoid estimated tax penalties if you can prove that you were unable to make the required payment due to an extenuating circumstance over which you had no control. This circumstance could have been a “casualty event, disaster, or other unusual circumstance and it would be inequitable to impose the penalty”, according to the IRS.

You can avoid estimated tax penalties if you owe less than $1,000.

You can avoid estimated tax penalties as long as you pay a minimum of 90% of your tax obligation.

You can avoid estimated tax penalties if you pay at least 100% of the tax owed in the prior year.

You can avoid estimated tax penalties if you became disabled during the course of the current tax year or during the tax year before for which you should have made estimated payments.

Ultimately, the easiest way in which to avoid incurring estimated tax or under-payment penalties is to ensure that you make accurate estimated payments. While it is impossible to predict exactly what you will owe, it is possible to get a closer estimate. A good rule of thumb is to examine what you owed in tax payments in the previous tax year and make four equal payments which total at least 10% more than that amount.

Need help with your estimated payments or with filing your taxes? The CPA specialists at Georgen Scarborough Associates, PC are here to assist. Contact us today for further information regarding our services.

July 15th – Your Federal Tax Filing Deadline in 2020

tax deadline

2020 is officially in full swing, which means that you are likely starting to think about your tax duties and probably wondering when the cut-off date is. This year, Tax Day and, therefore, the tax filing deadline for the 2019 financial year is July 15th, 2020, which falls on a Wednesday.

Plan to Pay Your Taxes on July 15th, 2020

Plan to file your taxes by the July 15th deadline. If you don’t pay on time, you are likely to incur penalties and/or interest. However, if you know you won’t make the deadline, and think you are going to owe money, send in your payment to the IRS when you apply for a tax filing extension by July 15th.

Applying for a Tax Filing Extension

It will be wise to apply for a tax filing extension if you know in advance that you will require more time to file your taxes this year. If you file for an extension, you will be given until October 15th, 2020 to file your return.

The tax filing extension applies to the tax filing and is not a new due date for your tax payment. So, be sure to send in a payment by July 15th.

If you need help filing for an extension or need to determine how much to pay by July 15th, get in touch with the team at Georgen Scarborough Associates, PC today.