Every January everyone who earned money in the USA must file a tax return including CRPs. It is really not that difficult since CRPs only pay federal taxes and almost always are owed money at the end of the year. This is my step-by-step guide to how to file your taxes:
Get your W2
The first step is to get your W2 form from Disney. This is basically a summary of what you were paid and how much tax you have paid. You can get it electronically from the Hub but you must be on the Disney network to do it. This basically means you have to do it from work or one of the Disney Learning Centers unless you are lucky enough to have remote access as a Core Trainer.
To get your W2 log in to the hub and press the Sign Up/View W2 button in the right links box.
This will open a window where you can choose the W2 you want (This year it is 2012, if you have worked for Disney before you may have other years available)
Click View W2 and you will have the option to print it. Do this as you will need information from this form later. At this point you can log out of the Hub, you have all the information you need.
Filing your return
There are lots of ways you can submit your tax return but the easiest and cheapest I found on my last program was TurboTax. They take you through a series of questions to help you file your return and their basic service (which is all you really need) is free. To get started go to the website and click ‘Start For Free’
Choose the ‘Free Edition’
When asked how you filed your taxes last year just choose ‘skip this step’. Then Register for the site.
Agree to the terms and conditions and continue to the next step. The site will confirm all your information. Click ‘Start My Return’
It is now just a case of following through the wizard style interface and answering the questions. The first are simple personal information such as your name and Occupation (Food & Beverage Server/Merchandise Host/Food & Beverage Host or something similar).
Once you complete all of the first questions TurboTax will suggest a filing status. For most CRPs it is going to be ‘Single’ although it will depend on your personal answers to the questions. This will decide the level of Tax you are required to pay so make sure you answer these initial questions carefully.
You will then be asked for your mailing address - if you are still in the USA and will be for the next month or so put the Disney housing address. Otherwise put your home country address. This is where any letters from the IRS (Tax People) will be sent and where any refund check (if you choose a paper check) will also be sent.
You will also need your Social Security Number at this stage. Before you complete this section TurboTax will allow you to review the information and make sure it is correct.
Throughout the process you will be offered to upgrade to a higher level of TurboTax service – while this is your choice I continued with just the Free level.
The next section covers working and what you earned. You will be asked if you worked for an employer (you did if you worked for Disney). You will then be asked about other forms of income – answer these questions correctly although most likely you did not receive any other income unless you are a US Citizen.
You will then be asked for your W2 information from the information you printed from the Hub.
The first thing is the EIN number which is in Box a of your W2. The next page will ask for all the information from your W2 – follow the instructions as to which box to take the information from. Copy it carefully into the correct boxes.
Once you have entered this information TurboTax will give you an estimate of your refund.
You will then be asked another set of questions about your W2 and any other income you might have earned. Most likely you have not earned anything else if you have just worked for Disney but read all of the questions carefully.
The next section will ask about Deductions and Credits – As a CRP most likely none of these wil apply but again read the information carefully.
Click ‘Done With Deductions’
After you answer a few more questions TurboTax will suggest a deduction for you. For most people this will be the ‘Federal Standard Deduction’.
You will then be asked about any Special Circumstances. Again most of these will not apply to CRPs but read the information carefully.
Once you complete the section you will be asked if you have entered everything. If so continue to review the information.
TurboTax will then move on to State Taxes. As CRPs we do not pay State Taxes so you can ‘Skip State’.
After a few more offers to upgrade your service if you would like to, TurboTax will check your return and re-estimate your Refund.
The next step, after a few more upgrade offers, is to choose how you would like to receive your refund.
If you have a US Bank Account you can have the funds direct deposited, which is the fastest option, or you can choose to have a paper check in US Dollars mailed. If you are still in the USA direct deposit is probably the best choice however if you are back home the funds can only go to a US Account so you may have to opt for a Paper Check and find somewhere to cash a US Check in the UK.
After you have entered your bank details you will be asked to review your order with TurboTax including any additional services you bought from them along the way.
Next you will File your taxes. You will be asked how you want to file, the fastest way is E-File which is the default setting.
TurboTax will check your return and make sure there are no errors before giving you the final choice to submit your information to the IRS. You cannot change the information once it is submitted so be 100% sure of your answers before you complete the process.
Also make sure to take the option to save a copy of your return and all of the forms for future reference.
Getting your Refund
You can fiel your taxes any time but they will not be processed by the IRS until the end of January. Most refund come in 21-28 days from the day they are processed. If you file later in the year they may get backed up so it can take slightly longer. TurboTax allows you to track your refund so you can know when to expect the money.