tax documents on the table

You can, presumably, count the number of people who enjoy doing their taxes on the one hand. It’s not fun. And pretty much everyone will admit to that. But they are essential. You might be self-employed, grinding every day for the man, or have a tax situation that would make people wince with fear. Whatever the state your tax affairs are in, filing them doesn’t have to be painful. Though it might not always be a walk in the park.

One of the best ways to make tax season go without a hitch is to get a head start. There’s no point waiting for April 2022 to come around until you start frantically searching for receipts. So let’s all get started sooner. Here are # ways to help you do exactly that. And who knows, you might even save yourself some money (and time) along the way. 

Image by Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

Get Organized

Being organized is the key to a successful business. Getting a head start and managing your tax documents now will save you a lot of time when it comes to filing them. You can use the previous years’ tax return as a starting point of what you should include. Here are a few tricks to make getting organized a breeze:

  • Track Receipts Now

Searching for receipts for goods and expenses last minute is stressful. Take the stress out by tracking them now. Some apps can help you do this. Like, Shoeboxed lets you take an image of your receipts and then organizes them into categories for you. 

  • Record Your Miles

If you have to travel for work, it makes sense to track your miles. Unfortunately, trying to work out how far you’ve gone at the end of the tax year is a quick road to a headache and mistakes. MileIQ is a great app that’ll automatically track every drive you take. 

  • Expenses In One Place

Charge all of your business expenses on the same card. That way, when it gets to tax season, you can get a year-end summary. This summary will include the date, amount, and the company that was charged. Easy.

  • Open Business Profiles

Open a business account for companies like Uber or Lyft. Doing this means you’ll get a weekly report of business trip expenses. In addition, it’ll make taxes much easier. 

Get Online

You can do pretty much everything you need to online now. And your taxes are no exception. You can now set up an online account with the IRS. The benefit of doing this is that you’ll be able to access all of your previous tax documents and payment balances, and you can set up payment arrangements. You can’t file your tax online, but accessing old records makes the whole process much easier. 

Get A CPA (Or Do It Yourself)

If you’re not confident in completing your taxes, hire a certified public accountant (CPA). Seeking one out sooner than later means they’ll have plenty of time to get on top of your finances, and you can build a good relationship with them. 

If your taxes are pretty simple and you’ve kept a good hold on your finances, then doing them yourself shouldn’t be too much hassle. If you really want to commit to doing your own taxes, you could go professional and consider starting a tax business. Who knows, you might be great with numbers after all!

Get Free Filing

Always check if you qualify for free filing. If your adjusted gross income (AGI) is smaller than $72,000, then you might be eligible for the IRS Free File Program. This program is a cooperation between the IRS and certain online tax software providers. There’s also the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) that you may qualify for too. It’s a great program where you’ll get free tax preparation assistance. If you qualify. 

Get An Extension

If you’re really struggling and end up falling behind schedule, then don’t worry. You can contact the IRS and ask for an extension. However, it’s best not to panic and get it filed anyway if you’re really not ready. That leads to getting things wrong, and could see you hit with a hefty fine. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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