All you procrastinators out there are probably feeling the crunch. Today is income tax day. If you haven’t done your taxes, you are probably looking in despair at a shoebox or file folder full of receipts. If you had a PDF to Excel converter, you’d be ahead of the game.
There is only one good thing about today. Some companies feel so sorry for last minute filers that they are offering free treats, such as Cinnabons and curly fries. Comfort food is good, but it isn’t going to solve your problem.
Do you even know what you can write off as an expense? Perhaps you have to purchase a uniform or work shirts and pants for your job. Maybe you have other work expenses such as mileage, or using your home office part time. Better start reading those guides!
If you are sitting there with pen and paper you might want to switch to a pencil because you are probably going to make mistakes. You probably have a calculator, because unless you are a mathematical whiz, you’re like the rest of us and have forgotten how to do simple calculations.
Instead of fiddling with all that, use Excel to do the calculations for you. You’ll save time and avoid anxiety because it is also a great time management tool that you can use all year long. Inputting those numbers is even more frustrating when you are working towards a deadline.
Do you have a scanner? Great. Right now you can go online and purchase a PDF to Excel converter and in minutes you can be scanning all your receipts into Excel. Once you have all your information in Excel it is easy to complete those government forms. The 1040 is a PDF file. You can download the file, upload it to your PDF to Excel converter and easily work on your taxes.
There are resources online that explain how to do your taxes in Excel, if you feel that this is a bit daunting. Once you have that information in Excel, you can export it to one of the online programs that help you do your taxes, if you are really struggling. It’s easier than wading through all that paper and trying to figure it out yourself.
You can also save the money that you would be spending by taking your taxes to a preparer. Even if you use a professional to do your taxes, they would appreciate a spreadsheet of your expenses rather than a pile of papers. Some people come into the tax office with bags and boxes of papers that haven’t been added up and expect the tax preparer to do all of that for them.
It’s probably too late to take your tax return to one of those places now, at least if you want to get it in on time. If you do use a tax preparer, especially one that offers “cash back”, check them out carefully. Not all tax preparers are experts in their field. There are some who are scammers. Those are few and far between, most people in that occupation are reputable, but doing your own taxes can save you the heartbreak of an identity theft or being ripped off for your refund money. You’re probably angry enough at the IRS, wondering where all those tax dollars are going.
If you are getting a refund, it doesn’t really matter if you file a bit late, but if you owe the government money, the clock is ticking and interest is accruing.
Once you do your taxes for this year, you can start all over again. Only this time, you’ll be more prepared and organized. If you scan your receipts into Excel as you go, you can store that paper away and not have to worry about it. The next time it comes to doing your taxes you’ll be ahead of the game and have your refund in your hand while others are facing the dreaded tax day.