Doing your taxes is something that everyone dreads. In fact, many filers that must pay wait until the very last minute to file. Even those who get a refund might be less than anxious about doing their return. However, there are a few things that can make the entire process easier. You don’t need to worry and fret about this once a year task if you do a few simple things.
1. Keep Things Organized All Year Long
The biggest problem with filing taxes is going through the hundreds of receipts. If you have a home-based business, it can be even worse. Get a filing cabinet or an expandable file that you can categorize each month’s receipts. You will always have easy access to them, and it won’t be a big cluster to try to organize at the last minute.
If you do a little bit each month, then you won’t have near the nightmare when it’s time to do your taxes. Uncle Sam doesn’t like to wait, so anything that you can do to speed up the process will only be beneficial in the long run.
2. Use Online Tax Advisers
Forget calling the IRS with a question. These professionals get a ton of phone calls, and they can hardly keep up with the demand. Their new tactic is to try to direct you to prerecorded information about the tax topic you need. There are very few reasons why you need to talk to an agent. So, unless you want to sit on hold for an hour or so, then you should check out an online adviser.
Did you know that many of the problems that you are experiencing have been an issue for others too? During tax season, many advisers have blogs and open forums where you can ask questions for free. You can save time and your sanity by looking to one of these professional rather than dealing with the IRS agents.
3. Use A Free Online Tax Preparation Service
Unless you are filing a 1040 EZ, then it can be challenging to get your taxes done right. Even an error in math or income can be enough to get you a letter from the IRS or even an audit. If something trips the system, then you will have to deal with Uncle Sam directly. While they don’t often audit the easier forms, the system watches for these errors. One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t have any issues is to use an online tax preparation service.
The Tax Act Freedom Reform allows many people within specific income brackets to get their taxes done for free. You can have your return e-filed, and you can get a refund in as little as two weeks. Even if you don’t qualify for a free service, you can get one that is way cheaper than using an accountant. What’s even better is that these services are guaranteed to be accurate and they have accountants that can look over your return for a nominal fee. Plus, many of them can point out deductions you qualify for that you might not have considered.
4. Have Your Previous Year’s Tax Return
Did you know that you should keep a copy of your tax returns for up to seven years? When you file your current year’s return, you will need information from the previous year. While they do offer digital storage now, it’s always better to keep a paper copy with your W-2s and all other pertinent documentation. The IRS needs to know your AGI or adjusted gross income before they can accept your e-filed documents. You will also need to know if you got a refund form the state in the previous year to see if you owe taxes on this amount too.
Some people equate doing taxes to pulling teeth, you don’t want to do it, but sometimes it’s necessary. However, if you take a little bit of time and do some preparation, you can ensure that your return is filed on time and without any errors. Who wants to pay penalties and interest on top of what they already owe?