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Get a Jump Start on Your Taxes

Get a Jump Start on Your Taxes

Preparing and filing your taxes is a less than exciting task. Much like visiting the dentist it something that must simply be done. There are ways to make it a little less painful.
Get a Jump Start on Your Taxes
As with many things, procrastinating on the preparation of your taxes is a bad move. Tax preparation procrastination leads to one thing – frustration. If you try to sit down, organize your records, fill out forms, recheck your math, discover a stack of missing receipts, redo your taxes, recheck your math, discover another set of receipts…well, you get the idea. Doing it all at once is a recipe for disaster and mayhem. Don’t do this if at all possible. Instead, spread out the tasks. While you are waiting for clothes to dry, grab your receipts and organize them. A few days later, get all of your 1099s together. A few days later, add the receipts you’ve subsequently found to the first stack you created. Taking little steps is not much more fun than slamming it out at one time, but it is a heck of a lot less frustrating and stressful.
If you anticipate getting a refund from the government, go ahead and prepare your taxes as early as possible. While many people are ecstatic to receive a refund, they fail to realize they are giving the government an interest free loan. If you’re refund is sizeable, you should take a look at adjusting the number of deductions or size of your quarterly estimated tax payments to forgo having the government hold your money for months on end. Doing so will also help your cash flow from month to month.
Once you begin preparing your tax returns, it is time to start thinking about math. The biggest error made by taxpayers on returns is math. Double-check your addition and subtraction figures. Many times you’ll find you made a small mistake, which actually results in the payment of excessive tax. The IRS, of course, isn’t going to let you know such a mistake was made, so you have to do it yourself.
Finally, the best advice I can give you is not to panic. Contrary to popular opinion, taxes are not the end of the world. If you don’t have money to pay them, the IRS will not throw you in jail. Instead, they will put you on a payment plan until you do have enough money to pay them. That’s as bad as it gets, so don’t let the tax man get you down.

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