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Tax Season: Get Out the Calculator and Bottle of Aspirin

AspirinThe following is a guest post. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please contact me. 

For some people, taxes aren’t that big a deal. They fill out their 1040EZs, send them off, collect their refunds and that’s it. For others, taxes are more complicated and can become quite stressful. Here are some tips to help you get through tax season (hopefully) unscathed.

1. Get organized early. The earlier you start organizing your files and receipts for tax season the easier your taxes are going to be to complete. The best time to start is at the beginning of the year by setting up the system for the next twelve months. If you weren’t able to do that last year, though, don’t worry. Just start now!

2. Write on your receipts. Once upon a time receipts lasted a long time because they were handwritten or printed on dot matrix printers. Now they’re laser printed and fade quickly. Whenever you buy something that you know you can declare on your taxes, make sure you write down the date, what you bought and the amount you spent on the receipt. This way even if the printer ink fades, your pen ink will still be there.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Working with a professional is one of the best ways to ensure that your taxes are done correctly, on time and that you get the biggest refund possible. Professionals can help you figure out whether or not something qualifies as a deduction, help you fill out the right forms, etc. Even better: if there are mistakes that get made or the IRS decides to audit you, that same professional will usually be the person who has to sort it out (make sure that is part of the contract you sign).

If you have an affinity for the process and enjoy working with the numbers, you might consider getting your certification so that you can help others do their taxes. If you like the idea of doing taxes professionally, there are several tax based franchise opportunities you can look into. You could find yourself with a new and lucrative career!


About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

One comment

  1. I am self-employed, get 1099s from a slew of clients, and have enough deductions to create my own tax code. I’m always jealous of the people who can do the Federal Free edition and do their taxes in an hour or less!

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