How to File and Read a Tax Return Like a Seasoned Pro
John F. Dennehy Jr., CPA, PC

Tax Return

How to File and Read a Tax Return Like a Seasoned Pro

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Looking to learn how to read a tax return and tax forms like a pro? If so, you've come to the right place.

We understand how preparing your individual tax returns can be a daunting, challenging and downright intimidating process. Execution of this mandatory financial undertaking requires a significant degree of focus, legwork, and comprehension. 

The slightest mistake could have discernible financial and legal consequences. With these facts in mind, it makes dollars and sense to partner with the experienced tax professionals at John F. Dennehy CPA.

We offer a full suite of tax preparation and filing services to help you rest easier and file with more confidence. In the process, we'll make sure you understand how to read a tax return and will help you navigate all forms.

Let's take a closer look at a few tips and tricks that can help you read a tax return and forms like a seasoned pro. 

Obtaining The Appropriate 1040 Form

If you earn any sort of taxable income, you will be filling out a 1040 form. This document is the basic form used to file federal income tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service, more commonly abbreviated and known as the IRS, dubs 1040 the U.S. Individual Income Tax Return in official terminology.

If you are age 65 or over, you might complete the 1040-SR. There is no significant difference regarding the pertinent information you must include on this variation. However, this form is created in a manner that might be easier for seniors with visual disabilities to discern.

Gathering Other Pertinent Documentation

Prior to completing your 1040, you must first gather all critical paperwork documenting the entirety of your earnings from the past year. Such filings include:

  • Pay stubs
  • Banking statements
  • Copies of previous returns
  • Yearly statements detailing interest collected on stocks or other investments
  • Proof of any tax credits you might qualify for
  • Clear and concise listings of viable deductions

If you have any doubts about what other tax forms or filings you'll need to make, don't hesitate to reach out to the team at John F. Dennehy CPA. When it comes to taxes, it's better to be certain.

Completing the 1040 Income Tax Return Form

Once you have dug out, sorted through and identified these crucial documents, you can start the process of completing the 1040. The form is divided into several sections. The first section requires you to provide the IRS with your personal information, such as your:

  • Name
  • Spouse's name, providing you are offering a joint filing
  • Address and other pertinent contact information
  • Social security or tax identification number
  • The names of individuals you will be claiming as dependents
  • The specific manner in which you plan to submit documentation to the IRS, which can be through the postal service or online

In the next segment of the return, you will begin listing all of your income and any appropriate deductions. Once this process is complete, you will establish the percentage of your income that is subject to federal income taxation.

In the final portion of the return, you will disclose your tax liability, which in other words, is the actual amount of your income subject to federal income tax. That said, during this stage, you may also subtract any credits or the sum of taxes already paid during the previous year. Once these calculations are made, you will know whether you will be required to pay or are entitled to a refund from the government.

1040 Form Schedules

You might be required to fill out additional forms in accordance with three 1040 form schedules if: 

  • You have additional sources of income,
  • You are subject to additional taxes, or
  • You qualify for a specific set of tax credits.

These lists encompass a vast range of different subjects. Because of the complexity of tax filing, it's usually best to work with the experienced team at John F. Dennehy CPA for expert tax preparation and filing. 

Contact John F. Dennehy CPA Today

When it comes to filing your taxes, even the slightest error could have serious financial consequences. In certain instances, preparation mistakes could precipitate the IRS to perform an individual audit, which may lead to serious legal ramifications.

Fortunately, you do not need to go through this process alone. At John F. Dennehy CPA, we are a team of accountants and tax preparation experts who offer years of experience completing and filing even the most complex returns. 

We regularly work with individuals, small business owners, real estate investors, and virtually everyone else to simplify tax season, minimize liability, and maximize return. We will guide you through the process from start to finish. You can leave the tax filing heavy lifting to us, so you can focus on more pressing matters. 

Contact John F. Dennehy CPA today. 

About the Author John F. Dennehy Jr., CPA, PC

We at John F. Dennehy CPA are a team of certified public accountants who service clients throughout Long Island. The services that we provide are comprehensive, and we can resolve multiple accounting needs for a client.

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