Tax Season 2021: How to Simplify Your Tax Prep Documents with PDFelement
The thing most people hate about tax season is the paperwork. Being inundated with bills, forms, invoices, receipts, official filing documents, etc. is nobody's idea of a fun time. Well, unless you're expecting a windfall of a refund, that is!
This tax season 2021, we'll show you what one of the fastest-growing document management solutions available to taxpayers today can do. PDFelement is an award-winning solution that will make your 2020 tax prep chores a pleasure to do. How would you like to enjoy a near-paperless 2021 tax season?
An Elegant Answer to the 'Document Avalanche' Problem at Tax Season
There seems to be no end to the stream of documents that need to be put in order for the IRS. Don't let tax season 2020 for individuals be a nightmare; be prepared. And unless you digitize everything you won't be able to take advantage of eFiling. That translates into a LOT of documents that need to be converted into a standard format like PDF, re-ordered, and secured with encryption before it can be shared with others - like your accountant - digitally.
With the create feature in PDFelement, you can quickly convert all your physical documents into editable PDF equivalents, merge them, organize them, and secure them for easy sharing and eSigning between you and your accountant. The best part - almost zero paper when you're done with the process.
One of the most attractive features of the software is how effortless it makes PDF-handling. Print your scanned or other documents to PDF, get them together and organized, and secure it with a password so you can share it securely online or by email.
How to Use PDFelement to Lighten your 2021 Tax Prep Load
The easiest way to do this is to first gather up all your hard and soft documents, making sure that nothing is missed out. Of course, you can always add documents later but try and get all those runaway receipts and invisible invoices corralled together before you get started. Once that's done, follow the steps below to digitize everything, compile it into a master PDF tax document, fill out whatever forms you need to like your 1099s and W-2s, and finally eSign it when it's time for your final signature before filing your tax returns.
Step 1: Convert Any Digital Document into PDF
For documents that are already digital but in a different format, you'll be able to use the "Create PDF" function that leverages PDFelement's ability to convert a wide range of input file formats into PDF versions accurately and quickly.
As an example, a Word or Excel file can be converted to PDF either by dragging and dropping into PDFelement or through the "Create PDF" menu in main interface.
Step 2: Convert Physical Forms into PDF
To convert physical forms, documents, and images into a single, editable PDF file, you can use the OCR feature after taking photos of the documents. Alternatively, you can create them into PDF from the scanner. Just put your paper on your scanner and now click on the "From Scanner" button on PDFelement. In the pop-up window, select your scanner, and click "Scan". There, your paper tax document will be created as PDF format.
Step 3: Combine Multiple File Formats into One Organized PDF
Now all your file types are converted to PDF format. You can go to "Combine Files" and in the pop-up window, click "Add" to add all the tax files and finally click the "Next" button to combine all of them into one.
You can also visually organize the pages within the master PDF document once you've merged multiple documents. This will help you explain it in a better way to your accountant.
There's also an option to edit any of the pages in this master document. All the editing and annotation tools you need are at your disposal in the "Edit" menu item at the top.
Step 4: Fill Out PDF Forms
There are lots of forms to be filled out at tax season, and PDFelement gives you the ability to turn hard-copy forms into fillable and fully editable PDF files. Even digital forms can be made searchable and fully editable.
Let's look at how to fill out a form with this useful utility.
First of all, if the document is already an interactive PDF, then simply bring the cursor to the field to be filled and click to edit. Make your changes and save the file or just click on another field to enter data.
If it's simply a printable PDF form, you can convert it into an editable format to fill out the fields. To do this, you'll need to install the OCR plugin for PDFelement Pro. The plugin will automatically detect the type of document and make suggestions for performing OCR. To fill out a form, convert it into the "Editable Text" mode after clicking on "Perform OCR."
You can now fill out the form and save the file or add it to the master file, as shown in Step 2 above.
Step 5: Sign on the Dotted Line…
The final step might be your signature required on the final PDF document after everything's been checked and it's ready for eFiling. That's when you need to add your digital signature.
Doing this is very easy with PDFelement. Just go to the "Protect" tab and then on "Sign Document". You can either add an existing signature or create a New ID and insert it into the document. It's that simple!
Now that you have the tools to get your 2021 tax season papers in order, let's look at some of the more important information, key deadlines, and valuable tips for the current fiscal year.
Tax Season 2021 - When Does It Start?
Tax season typically begins at the end of January of each year. For 2021, that's on January 15. You might think that gives you enough time to prep your tax document and have them ready for eFiling, but don't forget that we're well into the holiday season for 2021.
Don't wait until the last day of tax season 2021 and then panic that you don't have enough time. Whatever spare time you can spend on tax prep is time well spent. Besides, getting ready well in advance gives you a better chance of finding more deductibles and, therefore, a fatter refund when it's time for that much-awaited check to arrive!
In addition, if you start preparing early you might even be able to lighten your tax load with some last-minute investments. As long as you get everything in for the fiscal year that ends on December 31, 2020, you have the advantage.
Important 2021 Tax Day Deadlines
February 12, 2021 - IRS Income Tax Return for 2020, Federal Return in conjunction with State Return, State Return (no eFiling), IRS Tax Extension, State Tax Extension (no eFiling), IRS Tax Amendment, State Tax Amendment (no eFiling), April 15, 2021, to October 15, 2021 - Estimated Date for Tax Refund
October 15, 2021 - Deadline for eFiling or fresh filing of Tax Return
Tax Season 2021: Tips for a Better Tax Day
Doing it quickly is the key to making sure that you're getting a fair shake on taxes. It allows you to dig deep and find a way to not only minimize your tax burden but also to get your refund early. Why wait until April 15 or beyond when you can get it done and dusted by the end of January?
Remember: Late payment penalties are usually not as exorbitant as late filing penalties, so even if you can't pay what you owe in full, pay what you can manage.
For an IRS or a State Return, if you haven't filed for an earlier year but have a refund due, make sure to put in a claim for it before three years is up. For example, April 15, 2023, is the deadline for claiming a refund for the fiscal year 2020, which is officially Tax Season 2021.
So get in and out quickly and make the experience a little less painful with the help of PDFelement Pro this IRS tax season 2021.
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