No matter what you do for a living or how much money you make, filing your taxes accurately and on time is your responsibility. Taking the time to understand each line of your tax return and how to properly report your income can keep you out of trouble with the IRS and help you get the refund you have coming.

Step 1

Gather all of your W2 forms and 1099 forms. You should receive a W2 from each employer you worked for in the previous year. You should get a 1099 form from each bank, mutual fund or brokerage firm where you have an account. If you worked as an independent contractor or consultant, you will also receive a 1099-MISC form.

Step 2

Locate the amount of tax withheld as reported on each W2 and 1099 form. Add the amounts from each form, being sure to double-check your math several times.

Step 3

Enter the total amount of tax withheld on line 38 of the 1040A form. Compare this amount to your tax liability to determine your refund or amount owed.