Eliminate April 15 Tax Stress – Use a Step-by-Step Approach
Is it any wonder that most Americans dread April 15? The U.S. tax code contains more words than the Bible, and hundreds of new pages are added almost every year. 2021 was no exception to constant tax law changes.
With all the complexity, it’s no wonder that so many Americans procrastinate filing their taxes, but that introduces stress and can land you in hot water with the IRS. What if you don’t get it done on time? You can file for an extension, but you are still required to pay the taxes you owe to avoid incurring penalties and interest. How do you know you didn’t make a mistake with your last-minute tax filing? Something as simple as a math error could increase the chance of an audit and put you in the IRS’s crosshairs.
We specialize in helping people who owe $10,000 or more to the IRS or have years of unfiled tax returns, so we’ve seen many mistakes made by innocent taxpayers. If you have any tax trouble or owe more than $10k to the IRS or state but can’t pay in full, contact our firm today. We help people find relief – Contact Us Here.
We recommend using a methodical step-by-step approach to preparing and filing your taxes so you can avoid burying your head in the sand on April 15th. As with any unpleasant and complicated task, breaking your taxes down into smaller and more manageable chunks can make things easier. This year, make a commitment to use a step-by-step approach to your tax return. If you follow these simple steps, you could be done with your taxes before you know it.
Step 1 – Set Up a Command Center
Chances are you will start receiving documents in early January, and you may still be receiving those documents in March. That means you need a convenient place to store them. Setting up a command center in your home makes it easier to store those documents and keep them handy.
If you have a scanner, take a few minutes to image each document as it arrives – you can also use an app like Cam Scanner on your phone to create PDFs. Set up a special folder on your computer or cloud storage service to hold all those documents and be sure to back up any files stored on your computer. Those electronic copies can be invaluable if the originals are damaged or destroyed.
Step 2 – Choose A Good Tax Professional (But Use A Tax Resolution Service for More Complicated IRS Issues)
While they cannot make the task totally painless, tax preparation professionals do make the process a great deal easier.
Keep in mind, if you owe multiple years of taxes and have multiple years of unfiled returns, we recommend engaging with a tax resolution firm that understands your unique situation and will help you find the tax relief you need. Most tax preparers aren’t trained or experienced in complex tax resolution, so find the right tax resolution firm to help you.
Step 3 – Enter Your Tax Documents When You Get Them
One of the great things about technology is that you can organize and file each tax document as you get it, often you can download all your tax documents from various online services. If the mailman delivers any tax documents to you like a 1099-INT or a W-2, you can scan things as they come in. Whether you get five tax documents a day or just one, storing, organizing, and entering the documents now can save you time later on.
Step 4 – Review Your Documents and Final Tax Return
After you think you have all your documents organized and your tax return is ready to file, review everything carefully to make sure there aren’t any obvious issues. Look through the paper and electronic copies and check each one off on your tax return. If any are missing or anything is wrong, enter it or correct it right away.
Step 5 – Bring It All Together
Now that the final review is complete and all the documents have been entered, it is time to file your return. Your tax prep professional should include a series of checks designed to catch common errors. Be sure to ask questions and correct any problems you might find and save an electronic version of your final tax return to your computer.
Filing taxes is never going to be fun, and this annual process will never be pleasant. Even so, you can make it less stressful by breaking this chore down into its component parts. Following the steps outlined above can help you deal more effectively with your tax bill and all the complexities of the tax code.
OWE BACK TAXES?
Sancus Tax Resolution specializes in helping people who owe the IRS or state $10,000 or more. We’ve seen taxpayers get blindsided every year by a huge tax bill and they often fall behind on their taxes for years on end. If that’s you, we can help. Contact our firm today to discuss your settlement options, such as an Offer In Compromise.