Yay! Tax season is over! Congratulations you survived! Tax season always brings unneeded stress to most Americans. With the accumulation of paperwork, finding lost receipts, filling out those pesky forms, then the mad dash to e-file or sprinting to the post office before midnight. But how can we make this season less stressful?
First things first... Breathe!
Now, Let's be proactive to make our 2014 tax year better than last.
Start early... Each month, collect your receipts/statements and file away necessary receipts and documents, discard others. At the top of each expense receipt, write what the receipt is for, the date, and the amount. Sometimes thermal paper fades, and you can't read what the receipt was originally for. Also, highlight expenses on monthly statements.
Be organized... Create a designated place for taxes papers and receipts. Make sure that place is enclosed, with a good filing system. The trusty dusty shoe box doesn't cut it. Now is the time to hit office supply store, folders, envelopes, water proof container/filing cabinet. Keep in mind, the IRS suggests you save your returns for up to 7 years. You can even get colored pens and highlighters too, if you'd like.
Donate every season... Spring, summer, fall, & winter. Make multiple charitable donations, whether money or goods, smaller donations made throughout the year, can have a bigger payoff. If you're donating goods, doing it throughout the year, can also eliminate clutter, bonus!
IRA... If you don't have a employer sponsored 401k or retirement plan. Head to a financial institution and open up an IRA/Roth IRA. Make small deposits through the year, adding up to maximum annual allowance. Avoid the rush to collection of money, and rush to deposit before April 15.
Save to pay... If you know, you have to pay the IRS additional money every year, start saving now. Also, you can pre-pay the IRS quarterly, to help lessen the burden.
Filing/Paying your taxes is a part of keeping your financial house in order. Keeping your financial house in order is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Money and taxes can be a major stress in one's life. I hope my tips can help eliminate the stress, be prepared, feel better, and live healthy.