Now that the holidays are over the next “big thing” on the mind of many consumers is tax season. That being said, even if you don’t have the files and forms you need just yet, there are a number of things you can start doing so that, when April 15 rolls around, you’re in good shape and ahead of the crowd.
First, you can actually send in your taxes to the IRS on January 20 this year because they are going to be starting on time. If you recall, in the last two years this was delayed until the end of the month of January, but this year that’s not the case. The earlier you file of course, the more quickly you will receive any tax return that you’re due (and to be able to use that money to pay down some of that debt you accrued doing the holiday season).
Also keep in mind that the Affordable Care Act is going to make it a bit more difficult and complicated to file your taxes this year. The ACA, If you don’t already know, requires that all Americans have health insurance, and this fact will affect practically everyone, including their taxes, what they owe and what they’ll get back. You can find out more at IRS.gov so that you’re prepared.
This year there are also a number of tax preparation service companies that will allow you to file taxes from your phone, including both H&R Block and TurboTax, both of which come with different features that, they claim, will make filing taxes a bit easier. (Some complain that there are also extra charges for the service which, frankly, only makes sense. Make sure you know what those charges are before you start.)
Lastly, starting to work and prepare your taxes early is a good idea for the same reason that shopping and preparing for the holidays is a good idea. It will cut down on your stress because you won’t have any nagging doubts in the back of your mind that you’ve forgotten something, or feel anxious because the days are slipping by so fast and the “big day” is approaching too quickly.
While it may not be as fun as Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, filing your taxes is infinitely more important and, if you’re due a tax return, the more quickly you file the earlier you’ll get your “present”.