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NextGen Magazine

 
 

First-Time Filers Get Guidance from IRS—and TikTok Influencer

By:
S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jan 17, 2023

The IRS wants to help taxpayers take steps to get organized to file their taxes. So does a TikTok influencer, Bloomberg reported.

A video that shows Kaeli Mae setting up her workspace to prepare her taxes has racked up almost 4.8 million views and one million likes. Captioned “taxes terrify me,” the video follows Mae as she makes iced coffee, gets her notebooks and calculator out, organizes her receipts (including many from Target), and makes lists.

“It’s a great awareness tool,” Manny Dominguez, lead tax research analyst at H&R Block, told Bloomberg about the video. “The average person doesn’t want to sit down and learn taxes, but something like this video catches your attention.” 

With filing season set to commence on Jan. 24, experts offered some tips to first-time filers. That includes preparing the required documents, said Jay Zigmont, founder of Childfree Wealth in Mississippi. such as W-2 forms and 1099 forms from brokerage accounts, along with Social Security numbers bank routing numbers.. Erik Baskin, of Baskin Financial Planning in Dayton, Ohio, warned that brokerage firms may not send out 1099s until that date, so filers should not wait for them to arrive before filing.

In identifying income sources, Tara Unverzagt of South Bay Financial Partners in California said that young people are surprised to learn that income from gig work and side hustles must be reported. Dominguez advised keeping records of income as well as expenses, which can be deducted.

Crypto also counts as an income source. “Some crypto exchanges do not send tax forms to investors so it’s up to you to download and report those to the IRS,” said financial planner Cody Lachner of BBK Wealth Management in Indiana.

First-time filers should also be aware for any tax credits for which they may be eligible, and should file for an extension if they need more time, tax experts advised.

For those seeking extra help, the IRS offers a free tax preparation program, as well as free guided tax preparation options, for qualifying taxpayers.