EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) –  Tax season officially starts Monday, but it can be difficult to file your taxes the property way, and avoid time consuming amendments or costly audits.

According to Terry Hansen, a tax expert with Jackson Hewitt, there are some things you can do to make sure the process goes smoothly, and receive your return faster. The biggest thing you can do to receive your return quicker, is file electronically.

“Electronic is the fastest way to go. Don’t do it any other way. If you do paper and send it in, it’s going to be waiting there for a long time because they are way behind in processing paper. They have to take that paper and put it in a computer, and they are already way behind on paper. If you file electronically you can get your return in a couple of weeks.”

Terry Hansen Tax Expert – Jackson Hewitt

Hansen said the earlier you file your tax return the better. However, he said, you must have all of your W2’s ready before you file. In addition you must report all your income correctly, including unemployment. If the amount of income you report does not match what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has on file, it could slow down your return and could possibly lead to a costly audit.

Hansen said one thing to remember is that you have to report the money you received from the stimulus payment back in March and advanced child care credit, if you received them. If everything matches, your tax process will go more smoothly. He also said if you did not get the stimulus payment, now’s the time to ask the IRS to send you your money,

“The ones that took the advance already for the advance child tax credit , they really need to collect that letter [IRS Letter 6419] to make sure it matches what it tells us or it could hold up that return. The opposite is the people that did not get their $1400 in March [2020] The only way they can get that money is to file a return. If they were unemployed and they didn’t get it, if they didn’t file a return in 2020 and they didn’t get the recovery credit in March, then they are entitled to it on their return. That’s the only way to recoup it. That $1400 is yours whether you got it in advance or you’re going to file today to get it.”

Terry Hansen Tax Expert – Jackson Hewitt

Hansen said the IRS is sending out that Letter 6419 to parents who received the advance child tax credit money last year, and that it is imperative that you keep it with your records. If you haven’t received it yet, keep an eye out for it as the IRS started sending them out in December, 2020.

Hansen also said to pay attention to deductions that you’re claiming, and only take legal deductions. This is an area, that if not claimed correctly, could raise red flags for the IRS.

According to Hansen, deductions can also raise red flags so only take legal deductions that can be proven.

If you need information on how much you have received from the Child Tax Credit or the Stimulus payment, go to the IRS website.

The deadline to file your taxes this year is April 18th.