It’s that time again—time to get ready for tax day.
Ugh! Well, it doesn’t have to be as bad as some folks make it. For one thing, start now, a few weeks before the filing date. Gather together all your forms indicating your income this past year. Don’t forget to include any interest earned. Put them all together under a clip and add a sticky note labeling them.
Next, gather all your contributions. You should have a place to put all your contribution receipts throughout the year. I use a three-ring binder with dividers that I put together myself. You can use a sheet protector pocket as a place to store your contributions receipts. That way these receipts will be at hand when you are ready to file. Gather forms that show any interest you have paid on your house. Next gather any expense items that can be deducted from your taxes—medical, car license, child care, etc., and clip and label them.
If you’re taking your taxes to an accountant, basically when you have it all organized, that’s all you need to do. After you’ve gathered everything, put it all in an envelope and hand it to the accountant. Just do it soon. If you are doing it yourself, get started. Take a weekend when you are not at a job and get it done. Don’t wait until the last minute. No one needs that kind of stress.
If you haven’t set up a system for keeping track of your financial information throughout the year, as soon as your taxes are in the mail, set up something to help you keep track. As I said, I have a simple three-ring binder with dividers for each investment company I use, for medical receipts, for contributions, anything you might need. I replace investment reports monthly when the paperwork arrives. I know, lots of people don’t use paper anymore. Just keep current whatever means you use to track your financial information.
Hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll get a refund. That’s definitely the upside of getting your taxes done.
For lots more money-saving ideas that can then be reinvested in family fun, read Simple Fun for Families by Gwen Ellis and published by Heritage Builders. It’s available on Amazon.com.