Taxes are unavoidable, but that does not mean they have to be a dreaded task. Discover three tips for having less stress this tax season and when it comes time to file your tax return.While most people view taxes with dread, there is no need to stress out over them – especially if you start preparing now by organizing all of your documents in one place so that filing is quick once the deadline has arrived.
It can feel like there is so much to keep track of when it comes to taxes. And it may seem like there are always deadlines looming around the corner. For those who find themselves in this boat each April 15th – don’t worry. I’ve got your back with these tips for making sure that does not happen again.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who dread tax season, this guide is for you.
3 Tips for Less Stress this Tax Season
1. Get Organized
Having an organized system for managing your tax documents will go a long way in reducing the stress associated with tax filing.
For paperwork, have a file folder where you keep important documents. Keep one file for records such as W-2s or 1099s that are attached to your return. And then, if necessary, keep a separate folder of any receipts you plan to use for itemizing deductions.
Label these folders for each tax year so that if you ever need to go back and get the information, you’ll have these records at the ready. For example, if you seek to get a mortgage or file for education student aid, these tax documents are necessary to complete the application process. And also, if you were being audited, you would need those documents as well.
For digital files, keep a similar system of storing digital copies of all of your tax records.
By organizing all of your documents in one place, you will save hours searching for all you need.
2. Gather your paperwork
Gather the following documents together and place them in a folder or envelope before trying to complete the filing process. Whenever possible, save digital copies of these as well, which can serve as backup purposes. Here is a list of documents you will need on-hand when you file either digitally on your own, or when meeting with a tax professional.
- your social security number or tax ID
- a driver’s license, or another form of a government identification card such as a valid passport
- last year’s tax return, if you previously filed
- any W-2 from employers, for both yourself and spouse, if you plan to file as married filing jointly
- or 1099 forms if you work as a freelancer and have client submitted records
- any receipts or other relevant paperwork if you plan to itemize your deductions, or have business-related expenses
- identifying information for any dependents you are claiming
- additional income forms from banks related to interest earned
- mortgage or student loan documents related to interest paid that could be used for credits or deductions
- form 1098T if you are paying any education expenses for post-secondary education
2. Mark Your Calendar & Make Appointments
If you want to reduce the stress involved in filing your return the best thing you can do is file your tax return early. You can mark the deadline, April 15th for most filing years, to help you remember when the last day is for filing without an extension. But, by booking your appointment early and having all of your records ready to go you will avoid the last-minute stress of trying to get it done before the deadline. Or, the stress of finding it difficult to book an appointment during those last few days.
Start preparing for tax season now. Don’t get stuck scrambling at the last minute, and be assured your taxes are filed quickly, accurately, and completely with Cowdery Tax.
This information is not intended as legal or tax advice. Cowdery Tax and its representatives does not offer legal or tax advice. We offer services for business bookkeeping, payroll, tax payments, and personal tax filings. We share information that is publicly available. Tax laws may change with or without notice that may alter or change the information contained in this publication.