Keeping it Painless
Tax season is upon us and it’s one of the most unfavorite tasks of the year to handle.
I know many people do this themselves but I’m not one of them. Hiring an accountant and turning over all of my paperwork to him is the best way for me to sleep soundly at night, every night, during this stressful time. Whether you hire someone or handle the task yourself, here are some ways to make it less painless:
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
Tempting though this may be, it’s the absolute worst thing to do. If you can’t locate a vital bit of information a few days before the filing deadline, there may not be time left to do so.
Accountants despise procrastinators and they are stressed in the six to eight weeks preceding the April 15th deadline. Keep your accountant on your side and try to provide your information as soon as possible.
Your accountant will love you if you can send them everything by the first week of February.
Divide the Work into Manageable Pieces
In a good year, organizing information for the accountant can take an hour. If things are complicated, doing a thorough job in sorting your tax information may take more time. If so, break up the task into a few sessions. I used the morning hours of a weekend for the tough review and then the afternoon to visit a copy shop to copy all of the material so that the accountant receives a hard copy, and I have the originals to keep at home.
Keep a File Folder, and Throw Everything into It
I take a file folder for the year and beginning in January, it’s the designated dumping ground for every receipt, doctor’s bill, and donation slip. If you’re chronically disorganized, find a red-colored folder from the office supply or big box store, and keep it on a shelf in the closet.
You don’t have to look at it, but at least it’s a go-to place and you’ll know where to find it in February or March of the next year.
There Are No Stupid Explanations
My accountant sends a tax organizer asking every possible question imaginable on what I need to provide for filing and write-offs. There’s not much space to provide the information, but the…