Tax time is not your favorite time of the year, especially if you have to pay the government a portion of your hard-earned dollars. You are not alone. I cannot name a single person who is excited about giving their money to the government. Here are five tips on how we can make this tax season just a bit less painful.
- Be patient. Practicing being patient will help you go a long way when you’re dealing with taxes. Please remember that through the months of January through April, your tax professionals are working extremely hard. You and everyone else have decided to come in all at once, or so it may seem that way. Just think of what it was like during the Christmas season. Every place was over-crowded and parking spots were scarce. You can always ask to drop off your taxes instead of waiting in line. You have the skills to manage your business and do well at your chosen profession, but paperwork, receipts or dealing with numbers may not be your thing. That’s where we can help. We love all that paperwork!
- The Tax File. Set aside a permanent place on in your filing cabinet to be your Tax File. When you receive something in the mail that is tax-related, place it in the tax file. If you are like some of us, your papers may be too many to stack, so making a file makes sense. Right? You can also create a folder on your computer for tax items. Create a folder called Taxes 20_ _. Put all your tax-related computer documents into this folder. When you find a moment, you can use your cell phone or scanner to convert your paper documents into an electronic document. Once they are converted to an electronic format, then take them and put them into your tax folder on your computer. You’ll be so organized when you go to file your taxes that you’ll even surprise your tax preparer.
- Catch up. Now is not the time to procrastinate, you’ve got information to put together to beat the rush. If you wait until April, you’ll probably have to file an extension. Keep in mind this extension does not get you off the hook for the April 17th deadline if you owe money. It only extends the date to file your tax return. Your tax payments are still expected to be on time and in full unless you work out a payment schedule with the government. This could cause you a lot of undue stress- stress from being one of the last ones to file, stress from paying estimated taxes, and the stress of waiting for the taxes to be filed. That’s a lot of stress for just one person. Do you really need all that stress in your life?
- Early bird. Connect with us or contact your tax professional early to get your appointment to turn in your tax documents. Getting your information in early will mean less waiting time for preparation and filing. Wouldn’t it be great to say you’ve finished your taxes before the end of March? Your stress will be less, and you’ll have more energy to put towards new projects.
- Avoid a large tax payment. The absolute worst thing about tax time is writing a big check, possibly with penalties to the government in April. Instead of waiting until the last minute, plan ahead to spread out your payments for the next year by making some small adjustments here and there. You can adjust your payroll withholding or start making estimated tax payments. Spreading out your tax payments throughout the year will have you writing a smaller check in April, or who knows maybe you’ll have things set up just right so you can finally have a refund.
Try using these five tips this tax season. You’ll have more energy for more important things in your business and even have time to enjoy things outside of work. Our tax professionals here at MD Bookkeeping and Internet Services LLC understand your plight. We’ll be here when you need us.