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Tax forms: Tips for getting your tax forms, preparing them for your returns

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Tax season is upon everyone, and it is that time of year to get your tax forms together and get ready to prepare what you need for all of them. A lot of people don't really have any idea how to prepare their own taxes or even how to get their tax forms, but CSMonitor revealed five great tips on Jan. 20, 2014, that could truly help you this season.

Before even starting to prepare your taxes, you must know how to get your tax forms. There are a number of them, and each so very different, so you've got to make sure you're getting the right ones.

Here are five easy tips on obtaining your tax forms from the IRS:

  1. On the Internet - Head to IRS.gov and you can access them 24 hours a day.
  2. By phone - Give 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676) a call Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. local time, to order your current tax forms. Orders should be received within 10 days.
  3. By mail - Contact the IRS National Distribution Center at 1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway, Bloomington, IL, 61705-6613. Again, you should have your tax forms 10 days after receipt of your order.
  4. At community locations - Check your local libraries and post offices for some free tax forms. There are even some grocery stores that have them.
  5. Taxpayer Assistance Centers - There are over 400 TACs across the country and the IRS offers in-person assitance and access to tax forms.

Now, you've got your tax forms, but you've got to start preparing things and getting ready to file for your 2014 return.

CSMonitor states the first thing you must do is "securely save each and every tax form that arrives in your mailbox." Have a folder or secure file for all of your forms and always know where they are.

Secondly, figure out "how you're going to prepare your taxes." There are a number of ways such as an accountant, by hand, tax preparation software, and more.

Third, "contribute to your Roth or Traditional IRA." If you contribute, those contributions will count for the previous year up until Apr. 15 of the following year. Make sure you contribute before you file.

Fourth, "think about changes in your filing status." Whether you got married, had a child, got divorced, or anything else; you need to realize what these changes will do on your tax forms.

Finally, "be ready for an extension." Sometimes, tax forms can be really difficult to prepare and bring forth a lot more time and effort than you realize. Always be sure that you know how to get an extension because one may be necessary.

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