They say nothing in life is guaranteed except for taxes and death. My apologies for being so gruesome but it's true. So, now that we are emerging into tax season, many of you are awaiting on the arrival of your W-2's. But I'm curious to know what you do one your receive your W-2's. Do you make an appointment to have your taxes completed by a professional? Do you complete your taxes on your own? Or do you have to sort through your belongings to locate pertinent documents that are required to be submitted for filing? If you selected the third option, then, these next tips are for you.
Now, full disclosure, while I’m not an accountant, I am a tax paying citizen and when it comes time to submit my documents to my accountant, I do so with ease because I know exactly where all of my tax related documents are located. However, I know that for many of you, this task may not appear to be as simple.
Here are some organization and preparation tips for you to do when patiently awaiting for the arrival of your W-2's.
While waiting for the arrival of your W-2’s, use the time to search for and gather up receipts that could possibly be applied to your deductions. For example, receipts for medical purposes or from charitable donations may be necessary to submit when filing your taxes. You can also use this waiting period to organize receipts by date and scan/upload them to a jump drive or cloud for easy access. By compiling and categorizing the receipts in advance, you save yourself a lot of time because once your W-2's arrive, then your main focus should on be on filing your taxes and not searching for tax related documents such as receipts.
During tax season, some people will file their taxes on their own while others may have a CPA or tax prepared service file the taxes on their behalf. However, if you are unsure about how your taxes will be completed then this is a good time to research your options and weight the pros and cons of each one. Be sure to take the time to read reviews, inquire about pricing, and the process. For example, if you plan to have someone file your taxes then they may require you to upload all of your documents into a secure portal. But maybe you're not comfortable doing that which is fine. So, may decide to book with another tax professional who doesn't use a paperless system. It's all about what will work best for you and your lifestyle. You will also want to make sure you ask how long their process takes to file taxes and how you will receive your refund. By doing your homework in advance and solidifying how you plan to file your taxes, enables you to plan ahead and not wait until the last minute. So, by the time your W-2's arrive, then you can move forward with securing an appointment to have your taxes completed or locking down a day where you will complete them on your own.
Do you know where you stored the previous year's tax return? If not then this is an opportunity to go through your physical files and digital files to locate them. It's really important to have those on hand when it comes time to file your taxes. So, the same steps you took to search for receipts are the same steps you will take to ensure you have last year's tax returns on hand. Once you locate them then you will want to create a permanent storage space for them so that when you receive the current year's tax return you will store them together. Do you see the recurring theme here? Planning ahead is key and these tips are meant to help you be prepared so that once the W-2's arrive, all you have to do is move forward with filing your taxes.
Being organized during tax season can save you a lot of time and combat feelings of stress, frustration, and even procrastination. Instead of twiddling your thumbs and doing nothing while waiting on your W-2's, try preparing your documents in advance, researching the options on how to file your taxes, and The goal is to manage your time wisely and get organized so that when it's time to file, all you have to do is sit back and hopefully watch the money roll in!
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Disclaimer: All posts and tips are for educational and informational purposes. SoleOrganizer, LLC is not to be held liable for interpretation of tips and products.