Tax season might be one of the most stressful times of the year. However, there is a way to make it less stressful.
With a little bit of planning and having the right tools, you can get thru another tax season. Here are a few steps I like to take to ease the overwhelm of tax season.
In full disclosure, this post will include some affiliate links, which means that, in no extra cost to you, I will will earn a compensation if you click through and make a purchase.
1. Use an accounting program
I like using Freshbooks, an online small business accounting software program. The program is easy to use, is fast and secure and my accountant loves it, too. With Freshbooks, you can record expenses, link to your preferred bank account, create invoices and estimates for clients, run profit and loss reports and provide access for your accountant… All from the app, desktop or tablet.
2. Keep your previous year’s return in an easily accessible file cabinet.
You will most likely need your previous year’s Adjusted Gross Income to include on the current tax year form. Unless you save it digitally, it helps to have the previous year’s return handy.
3. Create a tax return file folder clearly labeled
Whether you’re filing single, joint or married, having all your paperwork in one place will be a time saver. If some of your documents are sent digitally, I recommend creating a folder on your computer or in a file sharing dropbox labeled something like “20xx Tax Documents”.
4. Create a checklist
I like to print the list from IRS.gov (for US residents) and tap it on the front of my tax file return folder. As I add items to the folder, I check off the list. This helps me stay organized.
5. Save a little money just in case you need to pay.
We all would like a tax refund, however, there are times when you might have to pay. So to prepare for this, put a little money away in an interest-bearing savings account. I recommend talking to a professional certified public accountant to get advice on what amount is good to save.
6. Get an accountant
Unless you were a math whiz in school or understand all the new tax laws, I recommend working with a certified public accountant. I used to do our family taxes for years, but I realized that paying someone else gave me peace of mind. Accounting wasn’t my favorite subject in school, and it isn’t now. Having a professional on my team helps ease the pressure of feeling like I need to do it all.
Being able to plan ahead and use an easy accounting program has helped me not dread tax season (as much as I used to). I hope you use these tips and breeze thru this tax season, too.