The tax filing deadline is quickly approaching. Are you ready? If this is your first year filing taxes as a married couple make sure to read my previous post with 5 Tax Filing Tips for Newlyweds. Even if you plan to use an accountant, you still need to get organized to make the process run smoothly. Here are some ways to make preparing your taxes as easy as possible and help reduce stress.
Organize your paperwork
Make sure that you have all of your paperwork, and that it is sorted into the following categories:
- Important tax documents: basically anything you received in the mail (W2, 1099, etc.)
- Health care expenses: medical, dental, and prescriptions
- Employment-related expenses
- Child-related expenses:
- Newborn baby records: doctor bills, social security card
- Daycare expenses: ask for a statement from your daycare if not provided
- Educational savings plan: 529 contributions
- Home-related expenses:
- New homeowner records: mortgage interest and mortgage insurance payments
- Energy savings: receipts for any energy-efficient improvements to your home
- Investment statements:
- Receipts: for anything not listed above. For example, non-cash donations.
- Last year’s tax documents: look through these documents to see if you are missing anything needed in the sections above.
See the Must-Have Tax Documents Checklist from Woman’s Day for more detailed information.
Do your tax prep homework
- If you plan to do your own taxes, it may be helpful to read up on the topic. Here are some tax guides and books that are useful.
- If you plan to have an accountant do your taxes, it may be helpful to read reviews of local accountants on Angie’s List to find the best one.
- If you plan to use tax software, check out both H&R Block At Home Online Free Edition and Turbo Tax to see which one you feel more comfortable using. Both can guide you through your taxes with minimal frustration.
Do you have any tips to make tax filing easier? Let us know in the comments below.
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