March 14, 2018

Taxes are something that I’m certain only those involved in the tax profession enjoy dealing with, and even then, I’m sure that they get bored of the paperwork, endless figures and constantly changing tax laws! That said, no matter how boring or troublesome we find dealing with our taxes to be, we simply cannot ignore them, and if we do, we can end up having to pay costly fines. There are a few ways that you can minimize the stress involved at tax time though; even if you hand your paperwork over to a tax professional each year, there are still ways that you can simplify the process, and here’s how:

Be organized:

If you’re not a paperwork kind of person, unfortunately you’ll need to change that if you’re ever to keep on top of your taxes and be sure to file on time. Keeping your paperwork, receipts, invoices, charitable donations, W2 and 1099 forms, and other important information organised and somewhere that you can easily find it, is essential if you’re filing taxes yourself or using a tax professional. Don’t toss things aside or stick them in the back of a drawer, force yourself to be organized and the little extra time you spend devoted to that will pay dividends in the long term.

Set up a calendar:

If your taxes are likely to be made up of business expenses, tip income, household employer payments or other tax circumstances that are not relevant to a W2 form, then it might be wise to mark your calendar with dates that are important to your taxes, such as quarterly filings; that way you’ll be less likely to miss a deadline and get behind with payments. 

Leave it to the professionals:

As with spending a little extra time to organize your paperwork, spending a little extra cash to ensure that your taxes are filed correctly and on time, should see you reaping the rewards when your deductions are calculated. Not only that, but since tax professionals are aware of all deadlines and keep abreast of changes to tax laws, both state and federal, they will prompt you when your paperwork is due and will ensure that you are tax law compliant every step of the way.

Use tax calculating software:

Using software is a great idea for those who want to keep on top of their taxes and even find out where you stand before your taxes are due, but of course software is only ever beneficial if you’re feeding it the information it requires. Forgetting or not bothering to input the right data and often enough, will naturally mean that you begin to fall behind and become disorganized, and as software relies entirely upon you for it to work, you must be organized to get the full benefit from it.

Turn in your medical receipts:

Many FSA or Flexible Spending Accounts allow you to claim medical expenses against the previous years’ account and will often give you until March 15th to do so. So, if you have an unused balance from the previous year, be sure to turn your receipts in.

Unless you happen to enjoy making life harder for yourself when it comes to your taxes, the best advice anyone can ever give you is to use the services of a registered tax professional. In doing so you instantly alleviate all stress related to filing, and for the money that it will cost you, it will be worth every cent to stay on the right side of the IRS and pay as little in taxes as you are legally required to.

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