Benjamin Franklin is the person who coined that phrase, and it’s one that everyone grimly jokes about, especially this time of year. We’re in full swing of that annual event most people certainly dread – Tax Season. It doesn’t have to such a huge drag, however – procrastination only makes the process more painful and drawn out. Real Simple published a LearnVest.com article 4 Steps To Filing Taxes to help get you into tax mode with less pain. These 4 steps – Put emotions aside • Limit conjecture • Break big jobs down into smaller parts • Organize these tasks into baby steps – are all designed to reduce the stress of filing your taxes. Stress leads to procrastination; procrastination is stressful. What a horrible cycle! If you break down the tasks of preparing your taxes, let go of those emotions and turn your energy to getting the job done, those taxes will be finished sooner and you can move on to more pleasant activities!
Real Simple also put together a handy check list of Commonly Overlooked Tax Deductions to help you prep to file your return. The check list broken up into major categories and is printable for easy use. US News & World Report published an article about smartphone apps that make tax time easier to manage. It turns out that even the IRS offers a smartphone app! It’s called IRS2Go and is available to download on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. You can discover tax tips, find out more about free tax prep assistance and even track your refund (if you are getting one!) via IRS2Go.
Once you are done with your taxes, you may be faced with an ever-growing pile of papers to contend with. Here on Mercer Island Pulse, we have a couple of blog posts that deal with this issue, and are super popular this time of year: Document Dilemma – How Long Do You Keep Those Papers and How Long Should I Keep Financial Records. These are a good starting point to review your saved documents, but it’s always prudent to double-check with your financial adviser before recycling financial papers. If you end up having quite a bit of paper that needs to be shredded, do not worry – Windermere Mercer Island be hosting our annual recycle and shredding event in early June. Stay tuned for more details.
I’d love to hear how you handle the stress of tax season, and what are your favorite tax time tips. Please share in the comment section.