It’s Tax Time – you see it everywhere; ads for do-it-yourself tax programs, strange documents coming every day in the mail, papers piling up… it’s enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand, right? Well…don’t.
Do yourself a Big Favor. Think of it this way:
- The need to complete your tax return for last year will never go away. Ever. Get it over with.
- When it’s finished, you can live guilt-free and fear-free for the rest of the year.
- You’ll get your refund sooner. $
- If you start early and give yourself time, you’ll find more deductions. $$
- If you get it to your tax preparer early, you won’t have costly changes. $$$
- You can sleep at night knowing you won’t have to pay penalties and interest this year. $$$$
- Less dread of an Audit. $$$$$
OK, so you know all that already. So what’s stopping you now? Don’t know where to start, or how?
Here’s a list to get you going and organized (and during the rest of this week we’ll give you more tools):
DO NOW: Find a container (plastic box, big envelope, fancy wire basket, whatever) and put those ominous pieces of mail in it. You know, the ones that clearly have marked on them “IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENTS ENCLOSED”. PS – Some of them look just like regular mail, so be sure to check each piece of mail carefully before you recycle or shred it. This is ‘The Place’ to put that mail – do not be tempted to put it anywhere else, even briefly. Knowing where these crucial documents are will save you lots of time, and increase accuracy on your tax return.
NEXT STEP. Find a box big enough to hold: paper, file folders, pencils, a calculator, paper clips, envelopes, letter opener, stapler, highlighters, and maybe a 3-ring or spiral bound notebook. This is your Go-To spot for supplies. Do not let the contents migrate to other parts of the house! Those items need to stay right there for a couple of weeks. To hold everything, a Banker’s Box works well, or something of a similar size.
OPTIONAL: if buying something new perks you up, go ahead and pick up a couple of things. These are useful: a small plastic tote that holds hanging files, hanging files, basic file folders, a kitchen timer (more about that soon), and anything from the previous list that you don’t already have.
That’s not so hard, is it? Do it. Do it now. Then you can give yourself a big pat on the back, and check in here to see the next steps…
PS – not filing your returns is a really bad idea – for more info on that contact Litchfield County tax attorney Martha Miller.