How to Get a Jump Start on Your Taxes

If you are like most people, working on your taxes is not high on your list of fun things to do. It is, however, an important task, and one that is best tackled as early as possible. There are a number of things taxpayers can do to make tax time a big less stressful and just a bit more fun.

Most of us procrastinate when it comes to unpleasant tasks, and it would be difficult to find a less pleasant task than that of paying taxes. However, procrastination when it comes to tax preparation can be dangerous and expensive. If an emergency crops up on April 14, would you still be able to complete your taxes on time? It is important to take the time to organize the records, gather the receipts and prepare well before the filing deadline. This will give you plenty of time to fill out the necessary forms and schedules and double check your math before you need to file.

Often, how quickly we do our taxes has a lot to do with whether we are anticipating a big refund or a big tax bill. It is only natural for those expecting to write a big check to put off writing that check as long as possible, and for those who are expecting a refund to want it as quickly as possible.

It is important for all taxpayers to know, however, that getting a refund means that you have been giving the government an interest free loan all year. While the government no doubt enjoys the cash, chances are you have better uses for the money than they do. If you consistently get a big refund every year, you may want to contact your employer and adjust your withholdings to even things out. This will give you more money in your paycheck every payday, and you can save and invest that money for the future.

After you have started to prepare your tax return, perhaps the most important thing is to check your math carefully. Most of the mistakes made on tax returns are simple math errors, and those errors can slow down your return or even result in paying too much tax. When preparing your taxes, it is important to check and double-check your math before signing and mailing your return. If you file using one of those tax preparation software packages, your math will be checked for you, but it is still a good idea to review your numbers and make sure you have entered them correctly and on the right forms.

Paying taxes will never be anyone’s idea of a good time, but taxes are not the end of the world either. With some advance planning and some careful checking you can put your taxes behind you and get on with your life.

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