Preparing for Tax Time, Are You Ready?
It is that time of year again, the tax man cometh. Are you feeling anxious, frustrated and afraid about how difficult this process will be? Well, you have plenty of company. Pew Research report stated that 30% of us dislike doing our taxes and 26% of us hate doing our taxes (I know that will come as quite a shock to many of you!) They cite everything from it being a boring chore, to the convoluted tax structure as reasons why. Especially notable were the responses about the hassle of collecting and putting together the tax time documentation.
Are you dreading tax time?
In my experience with clients, those who dread it the most have a few common problems:
• Don’t know what documentation they need.
• They think it will take too much time.
• They are afraid to ask for help
• They are afraid of what they might owe.
• They feel ashamed they do not know what to do next.
• They don’t know where the important papers needed for completing them are located.
First of all, forgive yourself for what is in the past. If you don’t have a system, that can be fixed, but don’t let that get in the way of completing this important job.
Make some appointments with yourself to do the work to get your taxes completed. When the scheduled time arrives, set a timer and work your way through these tasks one at a time. Take regular breaks to keep yourself fresh during the process. When your timer rings, ask yourself if you want to continue and do more in this session, or make another appointment at a later time to continue your work. Remember, one step at a time!
Need some help with your process?
Here, steal this one I share with clients…
Make a list of what documents you need. Start with the physical paper documents. Where are they likely to be? In my years working with individuals and businesses, we have found documents in their offices, the front hall closets, the kitchen or dining room tables, in bags and boxes in basements or attics or under their beds, and the trunks of their cars... Think back to when people were coming over to your home or office and you needed to do a quick clean up. Where did you put that stuff?
Ask for help collecting the papers you need, divide the list and get started (think - business partners and spouses). Check all those places you identified for valuable documents.
Now that you found all the paper, don’t forget to check your online resources for things you need to download,