Keep your last-minute tax filing stress-free

Whoever came up with the saying, “The best things come to those who wait” never filed their taxes at the last minute.

Anyone who’s ever put off filing until the eleventh hour knows how stressful it can be. Facing the crunch of a deadline, you dig through papers looking for the right forms, try to remember the password to your online filing resource, and keep your fingers crossed that urgent personal or work matters don’t suddenly pop up.

If you think that you might find yourself in this scenario, here are some helpful tips that will minimize the anxiety of a down-to-the-wire tax filing:

Get organized now
If you haven’t started already, organize all of your required documents. This includes employment forms like W2’s and 1099’s. If you haven’t received these documents from your employer, contact them ASAP. Itemizing deductions? It’s time to find your receipts and documentation.

Don’t rush
You don’t want to feel more crunched for time than you already are when inputting important data—that’s how mistakes happen. Double check your numbers.

Even if you’re using an online resource that does the math for you, confirm that you’ve entered the correct information. Being thorough and accurate is not only required by law, it will protect you in the event of an audit by the IRS.

File online
With the deadline looming, filing online is your fastest option. Digital resources like TurboTax and H&R Block can import data based on certain information. And if you’ve filed with them in previous years, they may carry over other personal and employment details, expediting the process even more.

Don’t do it in one sitting
It’s important to keep your mind fresh. Data entry—even when it’s your own data—can be a dry task. Make sure you take breaks throughout the filing process.

You may be pressed for time, but errors on your tax return can have serious consequences. You may have to amend or refile your taxes, or if you don’t catch the mistake, potentially face closer inspection by the IRS.

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