How to Skip the April 15 Tax Rush

Tax Planning Stocksy_txp3d00b84ewKK000_Small_328938

This past week I finally crossed off an item that has been on my to do list for the last few weeks – filing our federal and state taxes. You’d think that someone who writes about personal finance would file their taxes sooner, but like most of you, life tends to distract me from submitting them as soon as I’d like.

Besides our second child arriving,  being self-employed, I also had to knock out a few assignments during my maternity leave. Juggling the new routine has been harder than I imagined (so thankful grandmothers came to help us!) so I haven’t had much time to sit down get it done.

Stop Procrastinating and Knock Out Your Taxes

The best solution I’ve found when dealing with our taxes is to tackle it step by step. It helps me avoid putting it off until the last minute.

Set Up a Deadline

Taxes are due April 15, but you can do yourself a huge favor by picking an earlier deadline. It’ll give you a buffer so you don’t have to hurry through the paperwork and stress over missing a tax deduction or tax credit you deserve.

I decided I wanted to get it done before the end of this month because I felt that once I was back to working on my new regular schedule it would be easier for me to set it aside and forget about it.

Tackle Your Taxes Bit By Bit

The idea of getting taxes done can be intimidating and overwhelming for many people. If that’s you, go ahead and try to break things up so you only have to work on it for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

As our financial and tax documents came in through the mail, I collected them into a folder. Once everything was in I then logged into my TurboTax account and entered information in a section or two, pulling out the necessary paperwork.   Before I finished the session I made sure I saved my work.  TurboTax makes it easy to prepare your taxes since it ask you simple questions and does all the calculations.

Review and Submit

Give yourself some peace of mind by giving your filing another check before you send it in. It should only take a few extra minutes of your time. That’s what I did with our taxes.

As I completed each section, I reviewed my tax documents to make sure everything was entered correctly and then submitted our taxes online. Our federal and state filing were accepted quickly. Now all we have to do is wait and see the status of our tax refund.

Thoughts on Getting Taxes Done

I’m curious to see where everyone is at with their own taxes. How many of you have already filed your taxes? How many of you are planning on submitting them soon?

Comments (5) Leave your comment

  1. Around here, we are like the mechanics who drive cars that are nearly d.o.a.: 1) file an extension; 2) prepare everyone else’s taxes; 3) just in time to meet the extended deadline, finish and file ours!

    We thought every tax professional worked that way!

  2. as an expert, you should be warning people about the down side to doing taxes early. A perfect example is the 800,000 people that received an incorrect form 1095-A from the federal government involving the health insurance subsidy. By normal rules, now they have to amend (pretty much redo) their taxes because they did them early. Other financial forms are routinely corrected also, although they may not involve these same people.

    1. Hi Tom,
      Thank you. For many the benefit of doing taxes early out ways the bad. The biggest reason so they can receive their refund. I have talked to many people and they said for them they would rather receive a refund instead of the money in their paycheck because they would spend it. Also, those who received corrected 1095-C’s do not have to redo their entire return. TurboTax has created express amend that makes it really easy.

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