Smart Tips for Preparing your Taxes

February 27, 2020 5 By EngineerMommy

This is a sponsored post written by me for Casio. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are mine alone.

Well, it’s that time of year when many of us start to think about filing our taxes. Whether you file your own taxes at home or visit a local tax professional, check out these tips to streamline your tax day prep.

Gather your forms.

Being organized is key to a well-prepared tax return. Make sure you start by gathering the right documents, which includes pay stubs, statements of interest income, statements of dividends earned, etc. The general rule of thumb is to keep copies of all your paperwork for at least seven years so don’t throw anything away right after tax day. I personally like to keep our prior year’s tax return on hand, as it helps guide me & also helps me spot trends over time.

File online if possible.

There are many benefits to filing your taxes electronically. The most obvious benefit is you can skip the hassle associated with post office deadlines, long waits, and postage prices. Did you know that according to the IRS, the error rate among returns filed electronically is significantly less than for paper returns? If you qualify to do so, consider filing electronically for a smoother experience. An added perk is potentially receiving an income tax refund sooner!

Use a tax calculator.

Filing taxes is easier when you have the right tools on hand. I’m loving this Printing Calculator from Casio. It’s perfectly portable and can print up to 12 digits per line. Plus, it’s fast at an impressive 1.6 lines per second.

The LCD display is large (33% larger than similar models) and easy to read. The built-in exchange functions make it easy to switch between three national currencies with the touch of a button. It can be powered with 4 AA batteries or the included AC adapter. If you’re looking to streamline your tax day calculations, check out this Casio calculator.

Take advantage of deductions.

Don’t forget to take advantage of deductions that you might qualify for; some examples include student loan interest, moving expenses, property taxes, charitable contributions, and contributions to tax-advantaged accounts. If understanding the nuances of each of these deductions seems a bit overwhelming, consider hiring a tax professional to help you better manage your tax return.

Look for free advice.

Having another set of eyes look over your return can be a reliable way to spot errors and avoid any unnecessary penalties/delays. It can also provide some peace of mind that the return being submitted is accurate. The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is a great source for tax help and there are locations throughout the country.

Stay organized.

As you prepare your return for this year, start thinking ahead to next year. There is an inverse relationship between level of organization and amount of stress. In other words, the more organized you are, the less stress you’ll experience surrounding your taxes. Set up a system in your home to keep track of pay stubs, receipts and other paperwork that will be required when you file taxes. Simply a dedicated folder is better than nothing to keep your documentation neat & tidy.

I hope these tips have inspired you to tackle your taxes with confidence this year. Do you file your own taxes or do you hire a professional? Do you have a printing calculator?

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