Feb 11

Lower the Stress of Tax Time by Being Prepared

eHow User-Submitted Article

April 15th is the income tax filing deadline. However, there are some things you can do now to prepare to do your taxes. Completing these steps will enable you to prepare your taxes easier and they will be more complete.

Things You’ll Need:

Manila file folders or envelopes

1. Write down a list of all dependents in your home with full name and social security number. Include yourself in this list.

2. Make a manila folder or envelope for your W-2’s, 1099’s, Interest, Dividends, and any other tax document that is sent to you. As each document is given to you or mailed to you, place the documents in the folder.

3. Make a folder for medical receipts. Go through all your receipts and place any that are related to medical expenses in this folder. Once you have found them all, add them up, and write the total on the outside of the folder.

4. Create a folder for your stock gains and/or losses. Make sure you put in all the information about the buying and selling that went on during the year. Add all the short term gains and/or losses and write this on the outside of the folder. Do the same for long-term investments.

5. If you took money from a pension or IRA, create a folder for those documents. You should also create a folder for any miscellaneous income, such as jury duty, lottery winnings, unemployment compensation, etc.

6. Make an expenses folder that you will place receipts and information about the expenses you incurred for a work related move, health savings account information, educator expenses, alimony paid, student loan interest, etc. If you have child care expenses, place them in this folder as well.

7. If you have a small business and will be using that information on your personal taxes, make the following files: Expenses and Income. You will want to put all your expense receipts in the Expenses Folder. Any revenue you earned should be tracked in the Income Folder.

8. When you have all the documents received and organized, you are ready to work on completing your taxes. By having all the information at your fingertips in the files, this should be a simple procedure whether you take your information to a tax preparation service or if you do your own. TaxCut by H&R Block and TurboTax are two programs [the writer has] used and they walk you through each of the steps.

Read more: How to Prepare to Do Your Taxes |

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