People from all walks of life and income brackets, from college students to retirees, all have one thing in common: A universal headache that stems from tax time. It’s safe to say that no sane person enjoys filing their taxes. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your head above water.
Stay Organized. Make your filing less of a nightmare for yourself and your tax preparer by staying organized throughout the year, especially up to the time you file. Keep all paperwork relevant to your tax filing together in an easy to access system. This includes last year’s tax documents, this year’s income statements and earnings, paperwork pertaining to any deductions you want to claim (real estate, donations, job expenses, etc), tuition records, retirement plan information, and any other pertinent documents. If the idea of all that paper drives you crazy, look into electronic filing apps that will allow you to cut back on the clutter.
Don’t Stress. Preparing your taxes can be overwhelming, especially if you experienced any major life changes in the past year that could affect your filing status. Avoid panicking or rushing, as you are more prone to forgetting important details and making mistakes in this state. Don’t hesitate to ask for help and assistance when you need it. You have more resources than ever before at your fingertips. There are many sites and applications available to assist you, many of which are free resources for those who qualify. Check out some of the links below.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE)
IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers
Military OneSource (for military members and their families)
Get an Extension. If you find that you need more time to prepare your taxes this year, you might want to consider filing for an extension. Be advised that the deadline to file for an extension is April 17. If you expect to owe taxes this year, be sure to make an estimated payment along with your extension to avoid late-payment charges.
Click here for more information on how to get an extension.
We wish you the best of luck filing this year, and every year. You’ve got this!