Have you ever heard the saying ‘He who is well prepared has half won the battle?’ It seems apt when thinking about taxes. We all need to spend some quality time with our taxes in order to get them filed. Below are strategies that will hopefully guide you to get started or finish your taxes, depending on where you are in your procrastination.
1. Get Organized. Even if you still believe that you have more than enough time to fill out our 1040, take a few minutes to gather all of your W-2s and other tax documents in one place. You’ll be more prepared when you’re finally ready to sit down and tackle your taxes.
2. Set Aside Time. The trick to getting your taxes done is just taking the time to actually do them. Schedule time on your calendar to tackle your taxes, even if it’s in shifts of 15 minutes per day. Make sure your designated space is clear of distractions and use our tax checklist as a guide.
3. Ask yourself, “What’s the first thing I need to do?” Just getting the momentum going will make you feel like you’ve made progress, which in turn makes you feel accomplished. In most cases, once you get the ball rolling, you’ll accomplish much more then you originally anticipated.
4. File Electronically. The advantages are numerous, including free online help; tutorials and explanations of tax code laws, and numerous checkpoints that ensure you don’t make mistakes.
If you’re not sure you’ll make the April 15th tax deadline, file an extension. Remember, filing an extension gives you an additional 6 months to file, however, it is not an extension to pay if you owe the IRS taxes. Your deadline to pay taxes you owe is still April 15th, regardless of when you file your return.