When it comes to taxes, it can be easy to procrastinate. After all, who wants to file their taxes—especially if they know they are going to have to pay in? Even if you don't have to pay taxes to the government, there aren't many people who want to mess with all the paperwork that tax season brings. However, you don't want to wait until close to the April 15th deadline to deal with your taxes. Not only will early tax preparation ensure that you are getting each deduction that you are entitled to, but it will also provide you with the chance to correct issues that crop up prior to penalties and late fees kicking in. Here are three tips to keep tax preparation simple and stress-free.
Keep Relevant Documents in One Place
Designate a specific place for all of your W-2s, 1099 earning statements, receipts for deductible expenses, etc. In doing so, you will ensure that you remain organized and avoid some of the common mistakes that people make during tax season. If you anticipate receiving statements from multiple employers, investment accounts, etc., you may want to consider creating a checklist so that you can mark them off as they arrive in the mail.
Locate Last Year's Tax Return
If you worked with a professional tax preparation office last year, then they should have a copy of your tax return on file. However, if you did not or you are going to work with a new office or certified public accountant this year, then you will need to bring a copy of your old tax returns—probably several years' worth—to help speed up the entire process. In fact, there is a chance that the new accountant that you are working with may locate deductions that your prior accountant missed—cha-ching!
Book an Appointment Early On
The closer that the April 15th filing deadline gets, the busier that tax preparation offices get, and the more qualified accountants may be unable to take on brand-new clients. Therefore, it is imperative that you make an appointment early on to ensure that you get to choose the accountant or service that you want to work with, and it also ensures that he or she is able to give you and your tax returns the attention that they truly deserve.
It can be incredibly time-consuming and stressful to file taxes, but it doesn't mean that it is something you have to do alone. Contact an accountant like Jeffrey Beebe CPA in your area to ease some of the burden on yourself.