It is that time of year…Tax season! And that means you have to look back over the past 12 months and collect all the papers you may (or may not) have forgotten about, in order to file your taxes. You pulled up the tax documents you have to fill out and start to look for the papers and documents you need as you fill out the forms. You are unsure if you have all the tax documentation correct because you aren’t sure where everything is to begin with. You get overwhelmed and file your taxes so they can just be done. But you could be leaving money on the table because you aren’t claiming all that you have spent.
I want you to take a deep breath and stop this crazy hap-hazard cycle of hunting for papers as you file. I want you to change how you file your taxes so you can do so in an orderly manner. Plus, I created a free tax documents checklist to help guide you through organizing your tax papers!
How To File Your Taxes Like A Pro + Free Tax Documents Checklist
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Collect Everything First
The very first thing you have to do before filing your taxes is to collect all your tax documents. Most of my clients don’t know where half of their tax papers are but they start filing anyway. This causes you to get flustered quickly as you are filing your taxes.
So start by collecting everything you will need. Look at last year’s taxes and start from there. That is your guiding place for all the documents you will need in order to start filing your taxes.
I also want you to grab a new file folder and label it “taxes 2021. Store this file folder in a place that is easy to get to. This way you can drop any papers you have from this year into your file. I would also add notes about the documents you are using now directly onto the file folder, making it easy to grab things for next year!
Use A Tax Documents Checklist
Once you looked at last year’s documents, use this free checklist to keep you on top of papers you may also need, as things change every year. I suggest keeping this checklist with your files. And I would also print off another one to keep in your new tax folder as well.
Put Documents In Order
Once you have collected all your tax documents, I suggest putting them in the order that you will need them as you file. First you will need all your personal information. Then income information, followed by deductions, credits and payments. By sorting through all the documents ahead of time, this will streamline things for you as you file. Want more tax help, read this article here.
Double Check Your Work
Once you have added in all the necessary information, make sure to double check your work. This is a frequent mistake people make once they file because they are just ready to be done. But take a few extra minutes to review your work.
Call In A Professional
If you are still unsure, then call in a professional. You don’t want to make the mistake of filing the wrong information or not getting your full refund because of an error you made.
My Favorite Tax Organizing Supplies
So as you start to file your taxes, start by collecting all your documents you need before you file. Then use the tax documents checklist to ensure you have all the correct documents. Put your documents in order. File your taxes and make sure you double check your work. If you are still in need of support, go see a professional. They will ensure you file all your tax documents correctly.