It’s that time of year again, which many of us avoid like a plague, but really don’t need to if we do it right. We’re talking about tax season of course. No one in his or her right mind enjoys going over grueling documents, or even collecting all the necessary information to pass on to the accountant. However, it must be done, and it doesn’t have to be as painful as we make it out to be. Here are a few ways of surviving this tax season and getting your taxes done efficiently.
Gather Everything Together
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have everything you need in one place. If your documents are scattered around your house, office, and car, start with getting everything into one room. Once you have done that you can make a pile (or a file on your computer) of all your tax-related documents.
Sort, Sort, Sort
Next, you need to keep everything vital for getting your taxes done and discard anything that is not needed. You can have someone help you do this if you are not confident that you can do it on your own. Another thing that can help you do your taxes more efficiently is use software that can scan and convert all of your receipts and invoices into easy-to-use Excel spread sheets.
Make Sure Everything is in Tact
Once you have gotten everything you think you need together, sorted it through, and lightened your load by scanning physical documents into virtual ones, you can begin going over the list of everything you need. This includes the proper forms, copies of bank and broker statements, IRA contribution proofs, social security information, work receipts, receipts from donations, mortgage receipts, last year’s tax return, and anything else you think is relevant.
Being thorough will pay in the long run. You will also have easily accessible references if there is ever a question. The trick is to do things in an orderly and efficient fashion, to take your time, and not to rush. Leaving it to the last minute and running through it will very likely result in mistakes being made, which will only complicate things. Follow these steps and you will be headed in the right direction.