Get Prepped for Tax Preparations

1040 formTax season can be a super stressful time for most people. This time of year means tons of paperwork and trying to do a year-in-review of your finances. If you had more than one job, made big changes like bought a home or had a child, you can expect even more paperwork.

Before you even start filling anything out you’ll have to get everything you need together, that in itself can be a big effort. Let’s figure out how to make this process just a little easier.

  • Get all your statements ahead of time, online. If there is any advantage to the digital world it’s that you can get things quickly. Don’t just go for banking information, your mortgage and loan statement may also be online.
  • If you charged some write-offs on your credit cards make sure to download your statements, in some cases you might even be able to categorize your charges for easy listing.
  • Gather those receipts up now. Whether you kept them in a shoebox throughout the year or organized them online it’s time to make sure they’re ready for review.
  • Keep last year’s returns on deck. If you filed online you may need some information from last year’s return to verify your identity so make sure you have that available to you before you start the process. It’s also good to go over your return and make sure you’re not mistaking any previous write-offs as current.
  • Keep track of travel expenses by looking back through e-mailed itineraries or online receipts.
  • Don’t forget about your charitable donations…and those receipts.

Take a look at Equifax’s additional advice on getting prepped for tax preparation.

If you think you need tax help keep in mind that you could be eligible for free tax preparation from the IRS using the VITA or TCE programs. Visit the IRS website to learn more about each program and check your eligibility.