Wow! It's almost February... April and income tax returns will be due before we know it.
Now is the time to start thinking about filing your taxes, if you haven't already. The words "tax season" have been known make people cringe because tax season means compounded stress and frustration... but don't let it get you down. I've got some tips for you to help you survive this dreaded season!
If you do not plan to file your taxes yourself, be sure you choose tax preparer who really knows his stuff.
- Check the preparer's qualifications, history, and service fees before filing your return.
- Shop around. If you are looking for a new preparer, don't be afraid to check out more than one so you can make the most informed decision possible.
- Ease of communication. Keep in mind your accessibility to your preparer. If you have questions, you will want for them to be readily available to answer them.
- Ask for help. Get recommendations from your friends and family before you make the decision to use preparer. Chances are they've got experience with the one you've chosen or could point you to a competent preparer who has a proven track record.
If you plan to file your taxes on your own, without the help of a professional preparer, you may be setting yourself up for extra stress. You can dodge the stress bullet and get this busy season out of the way as soon as possible with these 6 common-sense tips - I know they may seem silly, but you'd be surprised at how much unnecessary stress we create for ourselves!
- Do your research first. Just as you would want to pick a competent professional preparer, you should be as educated as you can be about your taxes when self-preparing them. The IRS provides many tips to help self-preparers with filing, recognizing possible deductions, etc. Check out their site here.
- Stay organized! Keep your tax forms and all necessary paperwork as organized as you can, ensuring thoroughness.
- Be patient with yourself as you learn how to do your own taxes
- Set aside distraction-free time and space. All difficult tasks are much easier to complete when you're not distracted.
- You don't have to do it all in one sitting - you can take breaks
- Look things up if you have any questions - Never assume the meaning of something you're unfamiliar with... especially when it comes to your taxes!
- Don't procrastinate! Complete your taxes as soon as you have all the forms... don't risk missing the deadline!
I hope that these tips and words of advice help you get through this season unscathed and come out on the other side with no stress... Hopefully just a nice return. :)