With the start of the New Year, we begin to focus on things that we have to complete, such as taxes. This is usually the one thing that most households dread doing every year, as there are so many ins and outs, and it is hard to stay on top of everything.
In order to have a stress-free tax season, it is essential that you are prepared and ready. We have put together five tips for you to utilize, so as to make the process as smooth as possible.
1. Keep All of Your Documents Organized
This might seem silly, but it’s one of the most important aspects! Gathering receipts, mortgage paperwork, donations, and more can be a daunting task. One of the ways to get organized is to buy a small accordion file, and keep all your paperwork together and separated by category. You can use categories such as medical, donations, mortgage/home, and travel.
Using this system will help ensure that all your documents are in order and that when you sit down to file, you have everything you need.
2. Vet Your Tax Preparer
Hiring a professional to do your taxes can help keep the process smooth and streamlined. However, as we prepare to enter tax season, it is a good idea to do some research early to ensure that you are finding the person that is best equipped to handle your tax needs. Preachers, military, and entrepreneurs have different needs than many others when it comes to having their taxes prepared, and not every tax office will be able to confidently handle your documents.
To keep a stress-free tax season, making phone calls and asking questions is critical. Don’t wait until the last minute to look. Start now, before tax season begins, and hire the best.
3. Double Check all W-2s and 1099s Immediately
As these begin to arrive in the mail, don’t just file them in your tax paperwork without opening them. Check them over carefully to ensure that there are no mistakes and that all your information is displayed correctly. If you find a mistake, alert the company immediately. If you wait until the last minute, this could cause some significant stress, as well as forcing you to file for an extension on your taxes.
4. Check the IRS Website for New Information
No one enjoys being surprised when they file their taxes. However, if you go on the IRS website, you can check out the new tax laws, and anything that might impact your refunds or amount owed. If you have questions, you can reach out to someone who can provide answers.
By staying on top of the information, you remain informed, and this can help lead you into a stress-free tax season.
5. File Your Tax Return Electronically
Filing your tax returns electronically gives you peace of mind, knowing that it has arrived on time. If you choose to mail your return in, it can lead to some anxiety as you are not sure when your return was delivered, or if it was accepted.
By filing electronically, you attain this information much faster, causing you less stress. Using electronic filing also helps you receive your return on a much faster time scale.
By using these tips, you can sail into a stress-free tax season, and feel like a professional at the same time.