Tax Filing Guide for 2024: When and How to Fill Your Taxes

Tax filling guide 2024

Tax season is here, and it often brings a mix of worry and confusion.

Tax filing is not just limited to paperwork. You need to understand tax laws, spot the deductions and credits you can claim, and ensure everything’s spot on to avoid penalties. This can feel overwhelming, especially for those doing it for the first time or if your financial situation has changed.

It’s important to focus on the details and understand the tax rules. Filing your taxes correctly avoids trouble and helps you to take a positive step. It shows responsibility and keeps you in good standing legally, giving you peace of mind and a sense of doing the right thing.

This blog will help you through the tax filing process, whether you plan to file them yourself or with the assistance of a tax expert.

What are the Benefits of Filing Your Tax Return?

Filing your tax return has many benefits that make your financial life smoother and more secure. Here’s how doing your taxes right and on time can work in your favor:

  • Get money back: If too much tax has been taken from your paycheck, filing your return could mean getting a refund. It’s like discovering money you didn’t know you had!
  • Avoid extra costs: Filing on time avoids late fees, interest, and penalties. Even if you can’t pay your tax bill immediately, filing keeps these extra costs at bay.
  • Protect your credit score: Late or unpaid taxes can lead to a tax lien, which hurts your credit score. You keep your credit score safe by filing and arranging to pay any taxes due.
  • Boost your loan terms: A good tax filing record can lead to better rates and terms when you borrow money. Lenders consider you a safer bet when your taxes are in order.
  • Qualify for financial aid: Filing your taxes is a crucial step. It’s often required to determine your aid eligibility.
  • Enhance social security benefits: For self-employed people, filing taxes ensures their earnings are recorded, which can increase their social security benefits later.

What are Your Tax Filing Requirements for 2024?

Let’s understand the requirements to ensure a smooth and compliant tax filing process:

1. Determine whether you need to file

Determining whether you need to file your taxes in 2024 depends on several factors, including income level, tax filing status, age, etc. Additionally, if someone can claim you as a dependent, this also affects your filing requirements. However, filing might still benefit you, even if it’s not mandatory.

You’ll likely need to file a tax return if you’re a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident working in the U.S. and your yearly earnings exceed a specific threshold. Filing a tax return can lead to refunds, particularly for lower-income individuals, due to credits like the earned income tax credit. Parents with children under 17 should also consider filing to claim the partially refundable child tax credit. Here are a few scenarios where filing could be beneficial:

  • If income tax was withheld from your wages.
  • If you’ve made estimated tax payments or applied last year’s refund to this year’s tax.
  • If you’re eligible for specific tax credits.

In these cases, filing a tax return could result in receiving a refund, making it a worthwhile task even if not strictly required.

2. Determine your tax filing needs

The government taxes your income in parts, not all at once. These parts are called tax brackets, each taxing at a different rate. In the U.S., the more you earn, the higher the tax rate you pay on your earnings. But remember, these higher rates don’t apply to your entire income, just the part that falls into the higher bracket. People with lower incomes pay lower tax rates.

To understand whether you need to file a tax return this year, consider these straightforward points:

  • Assess your income: Check if your income is above the threshold that requires you to file.
  • Choose your filing status: Your need to file a tax return depends on whether you’re single, married, etc., as well as your age and income level.
  • Consider retirement income: If you’re retired, see if the income you receive is taxable.
  • Explore credits and deductions: You may be eligible for certain tax breaks that could reduce your tax liability.
  • Use available Tools: The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant can help determine your filing needs.

3. Essentials to prepare for tax filing

Whether you do your taxes or hire a professional, you must gather important information. This includes:

  • Social security numbers: Yours, your spouse’s, and any dependents.
  • W-2 forms: These show your earnings and tax payments for the year. If you’ve worked multiple jobs, you’ll have multiple W-2s.
  • 1099 forms: These are for income not from an employer, like freelance work.
  • Retirement account contributions: Details of any contributions you’ve made.
  • Property taxes and mortgage interest: These can be important if you own a home.
  • Charitable donations: Keep records of any donations you’ve made.
  • State and local taxes paid: This includes any taxes you’ve paid to your state or local government.
  • Educational expenses: If you’ve had education-related expenses, gather those details.
  • Unreimbursed medical bills: Any medical expenses not covered by insurance.
  • Last year’s tax returns: Both federal and state, if applicable.

4. Understanding your Form 1040 options

When filing your federal income tax, you’ll likely use Form 1040, but there are a few versions to choose from:
a) Form 1040: This is the standard form used by most taxpayers. It’s a two-page form, but you might need to attach extra forms and schedules for various types of income, deductions, and credits.

b) Form 1040-SR: Designed for people aged 65 and older, this form is similar to the standard Form 1040 but has a larger print and a standard deduction chart included on the form itself. It’s suitable whether you itemize deductions or take the standard deduction.

c) Other Versions:
Form 1040-NR: Used by non-resident aliens with income from U.S. sources.
Form 1040-X: If you need to change a tax return you’ve already filed, you’ll use this form.

Having these documents ready will make your tax filing process smoother.

When to File Your Taxes?

Deciding when to file your taxes in 2024 is crucial for timely compliance and avoiding penalties. Here’s a clear guide on when you can begin tax filing in 2024:

  • Typical start date: The IRS usually opens the tax season in mid-January. On January 29, 2024, the IRS started accepting and processing 2023 tax returns. You can use most tax software to prepare your files before this date, so you’re all set to go as soon as they start. You will file your taxes for the 2023 tax year during the 2024 tax season. The deadline is often April 15 unless it falls on a weekend or holiday; it’s the next business day.
  • Requesting an extension: If you cannot file your tax return by the deadline, you can apply for an automatic 6-month filing extension, which would likely move your filing deadline to mid-October. This extension only gives you more time to file, not to pay any taxes you owe. To get the extension, you must submit Form 4868 by the original due date of your tax return. Ensure you pay any taxes due by the original deadline to prevent penalties. Keep an eye on the IRS announcements for the exact start date for the 2024 tax filing season.

Points to Remember for Filing 2023 Taxes

Keeping track of deadlines and requirements for tax filing is important. Here’s a quick guide to the essential points you need to know for filing your 2023 taxes:

1. Deadline to file: The last day to file your 2023 taxes is April 15, 2024. This is also the due date for any owed taxes.
2. State deadlines: Most states align with the IRS deadline, but you should check your state’s website to be sure.
3. Extensions and IRA contributions: April 15, 2024, is also the last day to request more time to file your taxes, extending your deadline to October 15, 2024. It’s also the final day to contribute to your 2023 IRA.
4. Remember about tax payments: If you get an extension, you must pay any owed taxes by April 15, 2024.
5. Quarterly tax payments: For those who pay taxes quarterly, your first payment for 2024 is due on April 15, 2024. This applies even if you delay filing your 2023 return or request an extension.

What are the Steps Involved in Tax Filing?

Filing your taxes is an important annual task; knowing your options can make the process smoother. When it’s time to file your taxes, you have several choices. You can file electronically for a quicker refund, mail in your forms for a traditional approach, or get professional help.
Here’s a straightforward approach to choosing how to file your taxes.

1. Determine your filing status
Your filing status is crucial, as it influences your tax requirements and potential benefits. Use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant online to determine which status fits your situation.

2. E-file for efficiency
E-filing is faster, allowing you to receive your refund within three weeks of the IRS acknowledging your return. Opt for a direct deposit to get your refund even quicker.

3. File by mail
If you prefer, you can fill out Form 1040 and mail it, though it may take up to six months to process.

4. Online with tax software
Tax software is user-friendly and often provides access to tax professionals for assistance. The IRS Free File program offers complimentary access to online tax preparation software from various well-known companies. You’re eligible for this free service if your adjusted gross income was $79,000 or less in 2023. Regardless of your income level, the IRS makes fillable forms available to everyone, which can be completed and filed online at no cost.

5. Hire a tax preparer
A CPA or tax professional can provide personalized service for more complex tax situations. Secure portals are available for sharing documents without needing an in-person visit.

Understanding these steps and choosing the best method for your situation can help you confidently file your taxes. Remember, the sooner you file, the sooner you can receive any refund.

How Can You Settle Your Tax Bill with the IRS?

If you owe taxes, there are many ways to pay, including electronic payments, wire transfers, debit or credit cards, checks, or cash. The IRS provides payment plans for individuals who cannot immediately pay their full tax amount. These can be short-term or long-term, with monthly payments. To get your refund quickly:

  • File electronically: If possible, avoid paper returns. Electronic filing is faster, usually processed in about three weeks, while paper returns can take much longer.
  • Use direct deposit: Send your refund straight to your bank account to avoid mail delays.
  • Track your refund: You can check the status of your IRS and state refunds online.

Where to Send Your Tax Returns?

Depending on the type of tax return you’re filing (like Form 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-ES, 1040-V, amended returns, and extensions), the address to send it to varies by state. This also applies to taxpayers outside the U.S., in U.S. possessions, or with other international filing situations. You can send your tax returns in the following ways:

Using private delivery services: You can use IRS-approved Private Delivery Services (PDS) to ensure your tax returns and payments are filed or paid on time.

1. Individual tax returns by state
Each tax form has a specific mailing address, such as 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-X, 7004, and 941. To ensure efficient processing, make sure to send your form to the correct address.

2. Tax-exempt and government entities
Tax-exempt and government entities have specific filing addresses.

3. International filings
If you’re filing an individual federal tax return outside the United States, send your forms to the right address. Here’s a quick guide:

Each form type has a different address for international filers, so it’s important to use the correct one for your specific form.

Simplify Your Tax Filing with TruePro Associates

At TruePro Associates, we understand that tax filing can be overwhelming. That’s why we offer our expert income tax services and accounting services, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience. Our team of professionals is equipped to handle the complexities of tax laws and filing requirements, providing tailored solutions for each client.

Why Choose TruePro Associates?

  • Expert Guidance: Our team stays updated on the latest tax regulations to offer you the most accurate and beneficial tax advice.
  • Personalized Service: We cater to your unique tax situation, whether you’re an individual, a small business owner, or have more complex tax needs.
  • Efficient and Accurate Filing: We ensure your taxes are filed correctly and on time, maximizing your potential refunds or minimizing liabilities.
  • Secure and Confidential: Your financial information is handled with the utmost confidentiality and security.

Don’t let tax season cause you stress. Our team is ready to assist you with all your tax filing needs. Take the first step towards a hassle-free tax filing experience.

Contact True ProAssociates today!


Q1. When is the deadline to file 2023 taxes?
Ans. The deadline to file your 2023 taxes is April 15, 2024. If you request an extension, you must file until October 15, 2024.

Q2. What are the benefits of filing my tax return?
Ans. Filing your tax return can help you get a refund, avoid late fees, protect your credit score, improve loan terms, help you qualify for financial aid, and increase your social security benefits for self-employed people.

Q3. What documents do I need for tax filing?
Ans. Gather your social security numbers, W-2 forms, 1099 forms, records of retirement account contributions, property taxes, mortgage interest, charitable donations, state and local taxes paid, educational expenses, unreimbursed medical bills, and last year’s tax returns.

Q4. How can I file my taxes?
Ans. You can e-file for efficiency, file by mail, use online tax software, or hire a tax preparer. The IRS Free File program offers free software for those eligible.

Q5. Can I get an extension to file my taxes?
Ans. You can request a 6-month extension by submitting Form 4868 by the tax filing deadline. Remember, this extends the filing deadline, not the payment deadline.