How to fill out IRS tax forms for 2023: basic templates, valuable tips, and mistakes to avoid

Are you one of those people that enjoy filling out tax forms? Do you stay on top of all IRS form updates, never file too late, and never make mistakes in calculations? Chances are you are not. For most of us tax forms is something we dread, and rightfully so.

Tax forms are confusing and complicated to deal with, partly because you need to fill out a lot of personal information and tax amounts, and partly because of all the calculations and rules that apply to them. It's easy to make a mistake or forget some details and to make matters worse there are hundreds of forms available that the IRS update almost every year.

However, if you follow simple rules, and get qualified help and the right tools, you should be ok with filing your taxes. In this post, we’ll provide links to the latest tax form templates, and your very own PDF editor to fill them out online. We’ll also review helpful tips, and common mistakes to avoid. 

When should I file my taxes?

The filing deadline to submit 2022 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2023, for most taxpayers. Usually, it’s April 15, so this year you have 3 more days, but we recommend you get ahead of the game.

Where to start with filling out IRS tax forms? 

There are three ways to approach tax filing. 

The first, and easiest one, is to hire a competent tax preparer to file taxes for you. This takes the pressure off your shoulders and provides the added reassurance that everything will be filed in the correct way. 

The big drawback of this method is the cost you pay for the service. Most taxpayers who hire tax professionals say that it's money well spent, as it protects them from potentially costly mistakes. However, it goes without saying that the professional or agency you use should be trustworthy and have a track record of delivering successfully.

The second approach to filling out tax forms is to use dedicated software like H&R Block and TaxAct, which allows you to file your forms online and submit them automatically. Such software providers usually automate some processes (e.g. you can upload a W-2 form and the information from it will be added to other forms) and provide a guarantee that all calculations will be 100% correct. 

The prices for using such software varies depending on the complexity of your tax return situation and could be completely free for simple tax return. 

The third approach is to download the IRS forms and fill them out using a PDF editor. This way, you have the freedom to fill out tax forms on your own, in your own time, and without sharing sensitive personal and tax information with anyone. This also allows you to print out task forms and sent them via the postal service if that suits you.

This option is free, secure, and relatively straightforward. Regardless of whether you are a tax novice or a seasoned tax pro, we've listed out a series of steps and helpful tips to make tax filing error-free.

Tips for filling out tax forms

When you file taxes on your own, take a no-rush approach and fill out all forms step-by-step:

  1. Make sure you have all documents and forms at hand.
  2. Download the latest version of IRS forms.
  3. Open the form in PDF Expert on your Mac or iPad.
  4. Look through the form and instructions that go with this form (they are usually included in the doc, however, you can always find more detailed instructions on the IRS website). You can also use our simple tax form guides on how to fill out the most popular IRS forms like 1040 or W-2
  5. Start filling out the form line by line. If you are not sure what the term means (e.g. a dividend, a deduction, a dependant) - take your time to Google it or search for it on the IRS instruction pages.
  6. Sign, save, and send out the form OR print it, sign it, and send the physical copy to the IRS.

Common tax form mistakes to avoid

The most common mistakes people make when filling out tax forms are fairly simple and easy to avoid:

  • Name misspells or incorrect SSN. Yes, that's simple - just double-check to use the correct Social Security number and match the name on the SSN card.
  • Incorrect amount of wages, dividends, etc. These income amounts are used to calculate credits and deductions, so they need to be precisely correct. Also: double-check all of your calculations. 
  • Choosing the wrong filing status. You can always check what status you need to choose with The Interactive Tax Assistant on
  • Not signing the form. Remember that an unsigned tax return isn't valid and often both spouses must sign a joint return.

Where to download 2023 IRS tax forms?

Always make sure to download the latest version of the form from the IRS website. You can also find their instructions for most of the forms there. 

Alternatively, you can go to our PDF Expert tax form pages and find blank PDF tax form templates, alongside simple instructions:

We know filing taxes can be a bit daunting so we hope this blog helps you with filing your tax forms correctly and reducing your tax filing stress. Don't forget you can rely on PDF Expert to make this process even easier with fast and reliable form filling, signing capabilities, and more. If you have found this blog useful why not share it with friends, family, or colleagues?

Yevheniia Dychko Yevheniia Dychko

Stay in touch
Get the best productivity tips and deals straight to your inbox.

By clicking on "Subscribe" I agree to the Privacy Policy.