Last Minute Tips for Getting Your Taxes Done

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

Have you procrastinated on your taxes too long this year? This is the longest I’ve ever waited to complete my tax paperwork. Part of it has to do with the fact that I moved across the country, and I have a lot more paperwork to do. Since we moved partway through the year, we’ll have to pay taxes in two different states, and pay our federal taxes.

If you are looking at your timeline and realizing that you need to get your taxes together, here are some tips for getting your taxes done last-minute:

Make an Appointment

Now is the time to make an appointment with a tax professional. I have an accountant, and I’ve made my appointment with him. One of the great things about making an appointment is that it forces you to acknowledge a deadline. It might be difficult to get an appointment right now, but you can still squeeze in before tax day if you call around right now.

If you are concerned about cost, you can check to see if you qualify for VITA. This is a tax prep service offered to those with low incomes. You might also be able to find affordable help when you have your taxes prepared by a service like H&R Block or Liberty Tax. The reality is that having a professional help you double-check the documents you need to bring can be very helpful. Plus, that deadline means that you have incentive to get your documents organized and ready to go.

Block Out Time to Gather Documents

Put together a checklist of documents you expect to need to complete your tax forms. Then, block out time to get everything together. One of the great things about hiring someone else to prepare your tax return is that you don’t need to be particularly organized (although it can help). Just make sure you have everything on your checklist and take it in. Set aside two or three hours to look for what you need and gather it all up. Then you can bring it into a professional. When you are pressed for time, trying to desperately do everything last minutes has a great chance of ending in disaster.

Consider Last-Second Tax Breaks

Finally, don’t forget about last-second tax breaks. If you are eligible, you can still make HSA and Traditional IRA contributions for last year. It might help you lower your income and save you money on taxes if you can boost your last-second tax breaks. Consider it as you prepare to file your tax return.

Organize for Next Year

If you want to reduce your stress level this time of year, do yourself a favor and get more organized for next year. Set up a folder and put all of your documentation inside it immediately. Once you do this, you will have less worry about hunting for what you need. Also, take the time, after you get through tax time this year, to plan ahead. When you plan your deductions and credits in advance, it makes life easier, and you are less likely to leave money on the table.

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