Did you hear the clock ticking...tick tock tick tock.
Did you feel your blood pressure also ticking along every day that inched closer to the dreaded doomsday of April 15?
According to the Internal Revenue Service in 2017, “nearly 50 million taxpayers have either spent the last week scrambling to locate key documents and file their returns, OR have scrambled to locate key documents and instead filed for an extension.”
Process that for a second.
That is basically the entire population of South Korea. Can you imagine an entire country not filing their taxes until the month they are due? I mean my heart is racing just thinking of this.
Of those 50 million people, how many of them do you think are saying next year will be different?
What if I told you that next year CAN be different by following these simple steps!?
PREPARE TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL
Set up files on January 1st to maintain tax documents throughout the year and place them in an area of your home that is easy to just drop into the files.
A perfect example is the donations you make during the year, like a drop-off to Goodwill.
How many just leave these receipts in their car until they get sick of seeing it and toss it? Then when tax time comes, it then becomes a major scramble.
It would be so much easier if you could easily give that receipt a home as soon as you receive and not have to worry about it!
Put a calendar reminder once a month to clean up all outstanding records that you haven’t completed during the month, like expenses or mileage.
It is much easier to update when it is fresh in your mind and not multiple months down the road.
DON’T GIVE YOURSELF A REASON TO DREAD IT
This is especially true for those are self employed or contract workers.
Set aside funds during the year to prepare to pay the IRS - because one thing that will never change is good ‘ole Uncle Sam coming to collect his money! 😰
Also, if you notice in the prior year you didn’t have enough taken out of your paycheck, amend that problem immediately.
JANUARY IS YOUR MONTH TO SHINE
All tax documents have to be mailed by January 31st. Your mailbox will feel like it is on tax overload.
Prepare a spot where all tax documents can be placed until you are ready to separate and file all items.
A common issue is leaving it in the “mail stack” on the counter - there is the risk that something will be spilled on it, the risk of it getting mixed in with junk mail and sent to the trash, or the risk of it just disappearing.
Don’t take any risks when it comes to tax documents!
Create a checklist of all the items you need to complete your taxes the first few weeks of February.
If you are missing an item, it is easier to collect this early before the rush sets in.
BOOK APPOINTMENT WITH ACCOUNTANT IN ADVANCE
I was at my Accountants office on February 15 this year!
My Accountant and I booked my appointment in early January - so I was forced to get my last pieces of information put together by that date.
It held me accountable.
I also got a chance to discuss with my accountant at length and asked a lot of questions, without feeling rushed or under a deadline.
April 15th can truly be just another day on the calendar.
You can avoid the panic, pressure, and stress of a looming deadline.
And if you haven't started to create a plan of attack for 2019, it isn’t too late, but start TODAY!