Recordkeeping Tips for Freelancers and Gig Workers So You Can Avoid Getting in Tax Trouble

If you are working as a freelancer or gig worker, you are certainly not alone. Millions of men and women are earning extra income driving for ride-sharing services, designing websites for online entrepreneurs, and writing for local businesses.

Some freelancers and gig workers have even said goodbye to their traditional careers, trading the security of a steady paycheck for the freedom and flexibility of gig work and freelance clients. But whether you are freelancing full time or just for extra cash, you need to keep careful records so come tax time, you can stay out of tax trouble.

Note: If you fall behind on filing your taxes, you’re not alone and we can help. Reach out to our tax resolution firm and we’ll help you file late tax returns and negotiate with the IRS if you owe back taxes. 

Set Up a Separate Bank Account

Freelancers and gig workers play many roles but they all have one thing in common, they are also business owners.

Whether or not you have incorporated your business or formed a formal business, you do operate your own business. That means you need a separate bank account to collect your earnings and pay your expenses.

If you have not already done so, you should set up a separate bank account for your freelancing income. If you do have a formal business structure and an employer identification number (EIN), you can use that information to open the account. If not, you can simply open a second account to collect your payments and take care of any business-related expenses.

Print Reports from Payment Providers

Gig workers and freelancers are paid in many different ways, from direct payments from clients to automated clearinghouse (ACH) transfers to their bank accounts. These independent workers may also receive payment through third party apps like Paypal, Stripe and Payoneer, and keeping it all straight can be a real challenge.

Luckily many of the major payment providers make it easy to find out exactly how much their members received during a given time period. If you want to see where you stand, and how much tax you might owe, sign on and print out a payment report from every provider you receive income from.

You can fill out those reports with your own carefully kept records, including documentation of direct client payments and bank transfers. If you are unsure how much you have received via ACH, you can check with your bank or request a written report.

Signing up for a bookkeeping service or bookkeeping software can also help keep track of all your income and expenses.

Maintain Contact Information for Everyone You Have Worked For

During the course of a single year, freelancers and gig workers may work for dozens of individuals and companies, and they may receive payments from just as many sources. In a perfect world, everyone who hires those freelancers and gig workers would maintain their own records and send out 1099s for tax purposes, but that is far from guaranteed.

If you want to avoid unpleasant entanglements with the IRS, you need to keep your own records and check off each 1099 as it comes in. If you earned income from a client and do not receive a 1099, it is your responsibility to follow up and get the proper paperwork, so make your life easier and keep contact information from everyone you worked for, even if they were only a one-time client.

Keep a Running Tally with a Spreadsheet

It can be hard to track your income from freelance jobs and gig work, but a spreadsheet will make it easier. If you want to avoid underreporting your income and the tax penalties that could bring, set up a spreadsheet and record every dollar you earn from your freelancing and gig work efforts.

Keeping a running tally of your freelance and gig work income serves a number of different purposes. For one thing, it will help you determine the amount of your required quarterly income tax payments, so you do not overpay or underpay what you owe. Tallying your income as you go can also help you see how you are doing, making it easier to ramp up your freelancing and gig work efforts as you go.

Measure, Photograph and Document Your Home Office

As a freelancer or gig worker, you may be eligible for some generous income tax deductions, including a write-off for your home office. If you operate your freelancing business out of your home or find gig clients there, you may be able to deduct part of your utility bills, rent or mortgage and other applicable expenses.

Not just any space will do if you want to take the home office deduction, and proper documentation could be the difference between a valid deduction and a disallowed one. You must use your home office solely for your business, and it is important to keep careful records to avoid problems with the IRS.

That means measuring the space your home office occupies, so you can compare it to the total square footage of your home. It also means photographing the space, so you can show those images to the IRS if they question the deduction.

Scan Receipts to Make Tax Deductions Easier

You may also be eligible for additional tax deductions, including write-offs for office supplies, internet access and the like. But you will need to back up those deductions if the IRS comes calling, so make sure you have all those receipts on hand.

A shoebox full of paper receipts will not do, so make sure you scan or photograph those documents and keep them in a safe place. That could mean setting up a folder on your hard drive (with a backup plan in place), uploading the images to the cloud or a combination approach designed to safeguard records of your business-related purchases.

Life as a freelancer or gig worker can be wonderful, but keeping proper records is essential. From making tax planning easier and less stressful to saving you money, there are many advantages to keeping careful records.

If you do run into tax trouble, reach out to our tax resolution firm and we’ll schedule a free, no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options in full to permanently resolve your tax problem.


9 Common Mistakes First Time Tax Filers Make That Can Land You In Tax Trouble

Being an adult has its perks, from being able to rent a car and book a hotel room to the chance to earn a living and rent an apartment. But life as an adult also comes with some challenges, including the burden of filing and paying taxes.

If this year is the first time you will be filing a tax return, it is important to plan ahead. Mistakes are common among first-time filers, and those blunders could delay a much-anticipated refund or even trigger an audit from the IRS.

Here are 9 of the mistakes first-time filers are likely to make - and how you can avoid them.

Note: If you or someone you know owes back taxes, our firm can help negotiate with the IRS and potentially settle your tax debt. Call us today. Our tax resolution specialists can navigate the IRS maze so that you have nothing to worry about.

1. Forgetting to file

When filing taxes is new, it is easy to forget to do it. Forgetting to file is a big risk for first-time filers, one that could have long-lasting implications for your adult life.

2. Not reporting all your income

As a first-time filer, it is easy to forget to report all your income, especially if you work a side hustle or participate in the gig economy, Failing to report all your income is a big no-no, and this mistake could trigger a visit from the IRS.

3. Not tracking the cost basis of your investments

If you invest in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, you may owe capital gains tax when you sell, so it is important to track the cost basis as you go along. If you fail to track the cost basis, you could end up overpaying taxes on any future sales.

4. Paying for a refund anticipation loan

As a first-time filer, you are probably anxious for your refund, but paying to get it could be a big mistake. Unless you are in dire need, it is better to wait 7-10 days for your e-filed return to be processed and your direct deposit to land in your bank account.

5. Choosing the wrong filing status

If you choose the wrong filing status, your return could be delayed, or even rejected outright.

6. Not asking your parents if they are claiming you on their tax return.

If your parents are still providing support for you, they may be able to claim you as a dependent when they file their taxes. If you incorrectly claim yourself as a dependent in this situation, you could be in trouble with the IRS. Even more importantly, you could land your parents in hot water as well.

7. Failing to claim all your deductions

From student loan payments to mortgage interest, the IRS provides a wealth of deductions that can reduce taxes for first-time filers. Failing to claim those available deductions is like leaving money on the table.

8. Waiting until the last minute

Many first-time filers assume that their returns will be simple and that they can wait until the last minute to file. If you wait until April 15, you will be at the mercy of everything from closed post offices to a failed internet connection, so start early and get this chore out of the way as soon as possible.

9. Not planning for next year

When you are neck-deep in tax paperwork, it is hard to see ahead, but failing to plan for future taxes is a big first-time filer mistake. Now that your return has been filed, do some homework on additional tax deductions, including those for 401(k) and IRA contributions.

The April 15 tax filing deadline will be here before you know it, and when it is over you will have officially become a taxpayer. If you want your first foray into taxpayer status to be a successful one, avoiding the 9 mistakes listed above is a good place to start.

If you know you’ll have outstanding tax debt and owe more than $10k to the IRS or state but can’t pay in full, contact our firm today. We help people find tax relief and sometimes settle their tax debt for a fraction of what’s owed.


Lucky Day at the Casino? Don't Forget About the IRS

Whether you gamble all the time or only once in a blue moon, you are filled with hope and excitement every time you walk through those casino doors. If you have been gambling for even a little while, you already know that Lady Luck can be a fickle partner. Sometimes the gods of the casino smile upon you, and other times they turn their back. So, when you finally hit the jackpot, you are overjoyed and brimming with excitement…

At least until you consider the tax consequences of your good fortune.

Every time you walk through the doors of the casino, Uncle Sam is peering over your shoulder, and the IRS will be waiting with its hand out when good fortune finally smiles on you.

So, as you celebrate your big win, do not forget about your taxes; if you do, the IRS is sure to come calling. If you have any tax issues or find yourself owing a large amount in back taxes, reach out to our tax resolution firm and we’ll help you navigate any obstacles. 

Ask About a W2-G

One of the first things you need to know about winning big at the casino is that the IRS will receive notice of how much you won. If you try to fudge the numbers or not report the win at all, chances are you will soon be on the wrong end of a tax bill.

It is important to report all of your gambling winnings, even smaller jackpots that may not warrant a W2-G, the form on which those monies are recorded. And if you do win a substantial jackpot, ask the casino workers about how and when the tax forms will be issued.

Understand Withholding

When you have a lucky day at the casino, it is easy to blow your winnings, especially if you have never been so lucky before. But before you spend your last dollar, you might want to keep some in reserve for when tax time rolls around. If you fail to keep that money available, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise, and a big tax bill, when you file.

Casinos know that their customers may have trouble paying taxes on their winnings, and that is why many of them will automatically withhold a portion of the jackpot. If you do win a substantial jackpot, make sure you understand whether, and how, this withholding will take place.

If you are concerned about having the money to pay the taxes due, you may be able to ask the casino to do the withholding for you. Not all casinos will be willing to do this, but it never hurts to ask.

Track Your Losses

The fact that you have to pay taxes on your gambling winnings may seem unfair and arbitrary, but the IRS is not entirely heartless. You may be able to write off some of the money you lost in the pursuit of your latest jackpot, but only if you can back up those numbers with hard data.

Tracking your losses is never a fun thing to do, especially if you are a regular casino visitor. Even so, it is important to keep track, and many casinos will do the work for you.

If you carry a casino loyalty card, you may be able to log on or request a report showing how much you spent, and how much you won, while your card was in use. This is not a perfect solution, but it can be a good first step if you plan to write off your losses in hopes of reducing your final tax bill.

Having a lucky day at the casino feels good no matter who you are, as does leaving the casino with a stack of cash and a big jackpot to your name.

But the next time Lady Luck smiles on you, make sure you leave a little for Uncle Sam.

If you find yourself behind on your taxes and owe more than $10,000, contact our firm. We’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to potentially settle your tax debt for less than what you owe. 


Made a Mistake On Your Tax Return? Here’s What To Do.

Tax returns can be complicated and tricky to understand. Even for a professional, it can be surprisingly difficult to get every number and detail right.

Often, you only notice the mistakes when you take a casual look at your return days after you submit it online or drop it in the mailbox. Or worse, the IRS sends you a letter telling you something is off.

So, is there anything that you can do after your return is in?

Actually, there's a lot that you can do. But if you don’t know where to start, it’s best to leave it to a professional. Our tax resolution specialists can navigate the IRS maze so that you have nothing to worry about. We help people who owe back taxes or have back tax debt. Call us today for a free consultation.

3 Major Types Of Mistakes

There are many red flags the IRS looks for on each tax return, but here are 3 common ones taxpayers make.

1: Not reporting all your income. No matter how much or little you make, report everything. In some way or another, unless you run a strict cash business (another red flag), all of your income is reported to the IRS. W2, 1099 and other forms you receive are duplicated and sent to the IRS. If your reported income doesn't match theirs, that's a red flag.

2: Overstating business expenses. Depending on the type of job you have, there can be many legitimate expenses that your employer doesn't reimburse you for. If you’re a business, you might be tempted to write off just a little extra. These might be genuine deductions. But don't try to deduct something that's not on the approved list and don't claim deductions way outside the norm. Check with your tax professional and stay up to date with tax laws so you’re not padding your tax return with write-offs.

3: Math errors. Whether you file electronically or still file paper forms, your information gets entered into a computer. And one thing computers are very good at is doing math. If things don’t add up, or there was an honest mistake in inputting the information, it can raise a red flag. A math error won't necessarily get you an audit, but it will get the attention you may not want. Make sure to double-check your returns and have a qualified tax professional assist you and keep you out of tax trouble.

Filing an Amended Return - The 1040X

Individual income tax returns filed with the IRS can be amended up to three years after the due date of the original return by filing IRS Form 1040X.

On a 1040X form, the IRS only asks to be shown what was originally filed, what the corrected details are, and the reason why you need to make changes. The form also includes a section where you get to change the personal exemptions that you've claimed on your tax return -- just in case you make a mistake listing your dependents.

A few tips on filing your 1040X form

● For each year that you need to make corrections for, you need to use a separate 1040X form and mail it in, in its own envelope.
● Each form should have the return year mentioned at the top.
● On the back of the form, you need to explain the changes you've made and your reasons for them.
● Any schedules, forms, or anything else that is affected by your change needs to be sent in with the form.
● If the corrections made to your federal form affect your state taxes, you need to send in a corrected return for that as well.

However, we strongly suggest consulting a tax resolution professional to help with your amended return. They can often file multiple years of unfiled tax returns, help you settle for a fraction of what you owe, and at the very least save you a headache.

You Have 3 Years

Many tax filers only notice a mistake on a tax return only when they look at it preparing their taxes the following year. Mistakes may come to their attention in one of several ways. They may share something with their tax preparer that they may have neglected to mention in the previous year. The tax preparer, then, may notice the need for amendments to a previous year's return, as well.

There is no set time period within which you must correct your return. You can do it any time you notice it. A general rule that the IRS follows, though, is to entertain corrections for 3 years after an original return is filed.

The 1040X is a paper-only form

Even if you always e-file your tax returns, you'll need to file the 1040X form as a physical, paper form. The IRS still isn't equipped to handle the 1040X form electronically. You also need to pay attention to where you mail it in - 1040X forms do not go to the same IRS service center address as regular returns.

If Correcting Your Mistake Results In More Taxes Owed, You Should Still Amend Your Return

If your tax return contains a mistake that shortchanges the IRS in a more serious way, chances are good that the IRS will discover it. For instance, if you made money off a freelancing job that you didn't file a 1099 form for, the IRS could find out and you could end up paying interest for a few years for the tax owed. If you catch it yourself, you'll save on interest, at least.

If you know you’ll have outstanding tax debt and owe more than $10k to the IRS or state but can’t pay in full, contact our firm today. We help people find tax relief and sometimes settle their tax debt for a fraction of what’s owed.

Can I Pay Installments on Federal Income Taxes I Owe If I Can't Afford to Pay it All at Once?

Despite the IRS being slammed right now due to COVID-19, millions of Americans still owe money to the IRS in back taxes for previous years and they’ll increasingly find themselves unable to pay up all at once.

In this article, we walk you through IRS installment agreements and what to do if you can’t afford to pay your back taxes.

Though paying your taxes through an installment agreement is just one of many tax relief options, you likely have other options and might be able to settle with the IRS or lower your amount owed. We encourage you to reach out to our firm for a tax relief consultation to determine your options.


COVID-19 forced a lot of things to shut down or modify how they do business, including the IRS.

Not only are they busy dealing with processing their usual tax returns, the IRS was tasked with processing the stimulus payments for millions of Americans.

To top it all off, they’re scrambling trying to adjust to the new filing deadline, and a lot of their workforce is working from home, making things slower than usual.

Because of this, and due to the economic hardship millions of Americans are experiencing, the IRS announced it’s “People First Initiative”.

The IRS is pursuing unprecedented actions to ease the burden on people facing tax issues. These new changes include issues ranging from postponing certain payments related to Installment Agreements and Offers in Compromise to collection and limiting certain enforcement actions.

Due to COVID-19, the IRS isn’t processing paper returns right now as they deal with distributing coronavirus stimulus checks.

They also extended the filing deadline for your 2019 taxes another 3 months from the usual filing deadline, making the official deadline to file your taxes July 15th, 2020.


Despite their immediate actions, the IRS will soon flip the enforcement switch back on, and come July 15th, a lot of people who made higher income in 2019 will likely owe back taxes.

At the time you file, you need to send in payment for any taxes due. Failure to pay your tax bill immediately often results in penalties and interest on the balance due after July 15th.

If you find yourself unable to pay in full, the IRS offers installment agreements to taxpayers who owe a balance to allow them to pay their tax burden over a period of time.


The IRS divides their installment plans by taxpayers who owe more than $50,000 and less than $50,000.

IMPORTANT: We highly recommend readers to reach out to our firm first. Our clients never have to talk to the IRS, and a properly structured installment agreement made by us can save you money and time in the long run. You might also be eligible for other relief programs or get your penalties and interest forgiven. Reach out to our firm today for a consultation. [add your contact page link].

Balance Less Than $50,000

Taxpayers owing less than $50,000 may request an installment agreement via the IRS website, by mailing Form 9465-FS Installment Agreement Request or by phone at 1-800-829-1040. You need to provide your Social Security number, date of birth, caller ID from your recent IRS notice, PIN number or AGI, bank address, employer address and the proposed monthly payment amount.

Balance Greater Than $50,000

Taxpayers owing more than $50,000 may request an installment agreement by filling out form 433-F Collection Information Statement. Filling out the form requires information regarding your bank accounts, lines of credit, real estate, total number of dependents, assets, credit cards, wages, non-wage household income, monthly living expenses, down payment amount and proposed monthly payment.

IRS Installment Agreement Details

Installment agreements require a minimum monthly payment of $25. The IRS requests that you include your name, address, Social Security number, phone, tax year and return number on each payment issued. Installment lengths vary from 120 days to 60 months depending on your ability to repay.

IRS Installment Agreement Fees

Installment agreements that take more than 120 days require a setup fee. The IRS charges a setup fee for direct debit agreement or for a standard agreement. You may get a decreased fee if you meet their low income guidelines. The IRS charges a reinstatement fee if you don't pay your bill and your installment agreement goes into default.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution. We also serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.

3 Tax Resolution Strategies the IRS Offers

Taxes are a fact of life, but tax problems shouldn’t be. If you find yourself in tax trouble, the IRS has clear plans for how to proceed in collecting what they believe you owe. After sending you notices, the IRS can garnish your wages, levy your bank account, even put a lien on your property.

However, the IRS also has clear tax relief options for taxpayers. In this article, we’ll give you 3 options the IRS has to resolving your tax debt.

Note, we always recommend getting in touch with a specialized tax resolution professional to help avoid the harsh penalties and interest that accrued on your back taxes. It’s far easier to navigate towards tax resolution, if you have a professional working with you. If you’d like to schedule a no-cost confidential tax relief consultation, contact us here.

Let’s dive in to the 3 tax relief options.

Penalty Abatement (PA) - If I Can’t Afford to Pay My Taxes Why do They Keep Adding Penalties?

The IRS doesn’t like being ignored so this is how they get your attention. They want to be sure you know they are not going away. It’s like they haunt you with their ongoing letters. If you don’t respond to them the penalties they tack on is like a club they keep hitting you over the head with. Penalties are just the beginning of what they can do to your life.

The IRS may provide administrative relief from a penalty that would otherwise be applicable under its First Time Penalty Abatement policy. To see if you qualify, call our firm at [add your phone number and contact page page link].

Offer in Compromise (OIC) - Pay Less Than You Owe

You’ve probably seen the tax relief firms advertising this on Radio and TV as a way to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount.

Not everyone qualifies however. It’s important to get expert help so your offer has a higher chance of getting accepted. Before you submit an offer, you must also make sure you’re in compliance, file unfiled tax returns, and structure your offer in a way that the IRS will accept it. Having someone who’s negotiated these offers like our firm is indispensable. Think of it this way; would you go to court without a lawyer? Of course not. Well, it’s the same thing need an experienced IRS tax problem solver to represent you before the IRS.

Get On A Properly Structured Payment Plan

Your specific tax situation will determine which payment options are available to you. Payment options include full payment, a short-term payment plan (paying in 120 days or less) or a long-term payment plan (installment agreement) (paying in more than 120 days).

It’s important to structure your payment plan properly. Our tax resolution firm can help you setup an Installment Agreement (IA) or Partial Payment Installment Agreement (PPIA) depending on your situation

Here’s How We Help You Get Your Life Back

Some people don’t know what returns need to be filed or what they really owe: their personal or business bookkeeping and recordkeeping is a mess or non-existent. After we register our Power of Attorney with the IRS and get you protected, the second step we take is to get all your IRS tax records from the IRS to see where you stand.

After that, with your help, we prepare all your delinquent income tax returns and get them filed with IRS. And lastly, we negotiate the best possible resolution that permanently resolves your IRS difficulties. That may mean doing an Offer in Compromise, a properly structured Payment Plan, Currently Not Collectible Status, Penalty Reduction and more.

Most of this takes place without you ever coming to our offices. We live in a day and age where technology makes it easy for us to represent you no matter where you reside. Of course, you can always come to our offices if you prefer, whatever is more convenient for you.

Believe it or not there are laws that have gone into effect to help financially strapped taxpayer’s today. The IRS announced their “Fresh Start Initiative” which allows more taxpayers than ever before to settle up with the agency. Now is the time to take advantage of these less-stringent, more flexible programs before the IRS changes its mind again.

Schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem once and for all.

Tax Relief and COVID-19

Much like a natural disaster, the coronavirus took the world by storm and forced everyone to seek “shelter at home” and to change their daily habits in an effort to “flatten the curve”. This meant shutting down businesses and within a week, millions of Americans found themselves out of a job.

Businesses who had record sales at the beginning of March found themselves near insolvency by end of March. Despite a $2 trillion stimulus bill, the economy will undoubtedly take a bit hit and take time to recover.

People who were already in debt and behind on their taxes are finding it really difficult to keep up with the day to day expenses, let alone cover past bills.

As an expert tax resolution firm we help people who find themselves behind on their taxes, often through no fault of their own. In this article, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about taxes and the COVID-19 pandemic, including tax relief options you can take advantage of.

Note; If you were negatively affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and you find yourself behind on your taxes, contact us for a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation.

Here’s What You Need To Know About Tax Relief And Coronavirus

New Filing Deadline: July 15th 2020
The IRS announced late March 2020 that they’d be extending the filing deadline for the 2019 tax year. The new deadline is now July 15th and the IRS won’t be tacking on penalties or interest, regardless of how much taxes you owe.

This gives you a bit more time to gather your documents, search for new deductions, and file and pay your taxes. It might not be true tax relief but it’s a good opportunity to seek expert advice and a better tax resolution option. As of this writing, this is the only major new tax relief option for the average taxpayer.

Settle Your Tax Debt For Less Than You Owe

The IRS has a program that allows you to settle your tax debt for less than you owe IF you meet certain criteria. They take a look at the following:

Ability to pay;
Expenses; and
Asset equity.

With the coronavirus affecting taxpayers income and asset values dropping, it creates a favorable case for an Offer in Compromise. It’s important to structure it properly in order to have a good chance of settling for less than you owe. A qualified tax resolution firm like ours can help

You Can Get A Break From Paying Your Back Taxes

If the IRS agrees you can’t both pay your back taxes and cover your reasonable living expenses, it may be able to place your account in Currently Not Collectible status.

You can request currently not collectible status by submitting the proper form and proof to the IRS of your income and expenses, as well as whether you can sell any assets you may have or get a loan. As you’ll need to be able to document your inability to pay, be sure to gather copies of all your bills, your most recent paycheck stubs, and statements detailing other sources of income such as alimony, pensions or investments.

Keep in mind that currently not collectible status applies only to your back taxes. You will still have to file tax returns, and you will not be exempted from paying current and future taxes. You will also continue to accumulate penalties and interest on your unpaid taxes. After a year or two, the IRS may review your status, and if you’re able to begin paying your back taxes, then you must do so. If you’re still not able to pay, then your status will be renewed.

What To Do Next?

There are other tax relief options that the IRS has under normal circumstances, and with coronavirus news changing literally every hour during the pandemic, it’s important to have the best tax resolution firm in your corner so you can get through these challenging times.

Remember, you’re not alone and you have options. More than 13 million Americans had already found themselves before the pandemic started, and many millions more will find themselves behind on their taxes.

Our firm specializes in tax resolution and our experts help during this COVID-19 pandemic. We also serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.

How to Protect Yourself When Paying Taxes – Vital Steps You Need to Take Now

Tax season can be an unpleasant time of year for a lot of taxpayers, especially if you owe money to the IRS or State. The only thing you can do is make the most of it, prepare ahead of time, and pay the lowest amount allowed by law.

Whether you are due a refund or writing a big fat check to the IRS, there are some steps you should take after your return has been filed. Here are three critical steps to take once the tax filing deadline has come and gone.

Step #1 -- Print Off Hard Copies of All Your Forms and Receipts

Even if you save all of your documents on the computer and in the cloud, it is a good idea to print off hard copies and store them in a safe place. From the 1099 forms detailing your interest and dividend payments to the receipts that back up your charitable donations and business expenses, you never know when you will need this information.

You will appreciate having those hard copies on hand if your computer crashes or your cloud storage service fails. It takes only a couple minutes of printing, and those couple minutes could save you weeks of hassle down the road.

Step #2 -- Check Your Refund Status Or Balance Due Online

Even if you file electronically, you cannot expect instant service on your tax refund. It is the IRS after all. Even so, you should see quick action on your return and a notice that it has been accepted. Keeping an eye on your tax refund is one of the best ways to protect yourself and make sure the money you are owed does not end up in the hands of identity thieves.

This is also true if you owe money to the IRS. There have been tax identity theft cases where someone else files a tax return with your social security number, leaving you to deal with the liability or adding on to the amounts you owe.

If you use a tax filing software package, you should receive a notice by email when your return is submitted to the IRS, and another when it has been accepted. Watch your email box carefully and follow up if you do not receive those notifications within a day or two.

Once a week has passed, be sure to check the Where's My Refund page at the website to see where your refund stands. This handy tool provides a real-time picture of your refund status, from the time it is received by the IRS to the minute the money hits your bank account.

If you owe money, log in to your IRS account here and check the balance to make sure it lines up with what you know you owe. If there are discrepancies, contact your tax resolution firm ASAP.

Step #3 -- Prepare for Next Year

You just filed your taxes, and the last thing you want to do is think about filing for next year. Despite this trepidation, now is the perfect time to start getting your ducks in a row for the filing season to come.

Start by looking at your current year's return and think about ways you could have lowered your tax debt. Perhaps you could have given more to your favorite charity. Maybe you could have increased your retirement savings rate. Knowing what you did wrong this year will make it easy to adjust your strategy and save more money going forward.

Nothing can make filing taxes a truly pleasant experience, but dealing with the IRS is something every American needs to do. Now that your tax return has been duly filed and your 1040 form is on its way to the IRS, taking the right steps can save you money down the line, protect you from identity theft and make future tax dealings a little less stressful.

About JLD Tax Resolution Group

Our firm specializes in tax resolution, even if you have years of unfiled tax returns, or owe the IRS over $10,000 we can help! If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.