Welcome to Kerkstra Tax. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

Follow Us On:

Our Blog

Your Comprehensive Guide: Filing Taxes for the First Time

Filing taxes for the first time can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process. However, with the right guidance and resources, navigating your tax obligations can be a smooth and manageable experience. Whether you’re a recent college graduate, a newly self-employed individual, or a young professional entering the workforce, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to file your taxes with confidence for the first time.

1.      Gather Necessary Documents:

Before diving into the tax filing process, ensure you have all the necessary documents and information at hand. Common documents include W-2 forms from employers, 1099 forms for freelance income, bank statements, investment income statements, and any other relevant financial records. Organizing these documents beforehand will streamline the filing process and help ensure accuracy.

2.      Determine Your Filing Status: 

Your filing status (e.g., single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, or head of household) will impact your tax liability and eligibility for certain deductions and credits. Determine your filing status based on your marital status and household situation as of the last day of the tax year (usually December 31st).

3.      Choose the Right Tax Form:

The tax form you use depends on your income, deductions, and credits. For most first-time filers with straightforward tax situations, the Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A may be suitable. However, if you have more complex financial circumstances, you may need to use the standard Form 1040 and additional schedules. The IRS website provides guidance on selecting the appropriate form based on your individual circumstances.

4.      Report Your Income:

Accurately reporting your income is crucial for complying with tax laws and avoiding penalties. Enter your income from all sources on the appropriate lines of your tax form, including wages, salaries, tips, self-employment income, interest, dividends, and any other taxable earnings. Refer to your W-2, 1099, and other income statements to ensure completeness and accuracy.

5.      Claim Deductions and Credits: 

Deductions and credits can significantly reduce your taxable income and overall tax liability. Common deductions include student loan interest, tuition and fees, retirement contributions, and mortgage interest. Additionally, tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit can provide valuable tax savings. Review eligibility criteria and instructions carefully to claim all applicable deductions and credits.


Filing taxes for the first time may seem overwhelming, but with careful preparation and attention to detail, you can navigate the process successfully. By gathering necessary documents, determining your filing status, choosing the right tax form, reporting income accurately, and claiming deductions and credits, you can fulfill your tax obligations with confidence and peace of mind.

For personalized assistance and expert guidance in navigating your tax filing requirements, contact Kerkstra Tax at (909) 946-1000. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help first-time filers and seasoned taxpayers alike maximize their tax savings and ensure compliance with IRS regulations. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support as you embark on your tax filing journey.