Starting off a new year can be hectic, and we can all agree the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic is an added layer of stress. Now that it’s tax season, all of these stressors might make many feel overwhelmed! No need to worry, though, as we’ve got ways to help make sure you stay collected and organized leading up to the day your potential refund is received.
Don’t let taxes make you anxious – here’s five tips to help you totally crush this tax season!
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1. Mark Important Dates on Your Calendar
First thing’s first: what are the deadlines? It’s important to track key tax dates to ensure you stay on top of filing. The IRS has released the following information relating to important dates and deadlines – you’ll want to write these down:
– February 12:Tax Filing season began
– February 22: Where’s My Refund tool began regular updates
– First week of March: Tax refunds begin for those who file electronically with direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax returns
– May 17: Deadline for filing 2020 tax returns (extended from April 15, due to pandemic)
– October 15: Deadline to file for those requesting an extension on their 2020 tax returns
2. File Tax Documents in a Safe Place
I think we’ve all experienced the “where’s my tax form” panic. To avoid that altogether year after year, create and maintain an at-home filing system! This can be as simple as:
– A desktop file holder
– An accordion folder
– Or even stashing them inside a desk drawer
No matter the method you choose, just be sure to put your documents in a safe place.
Pro Tip: Label each document type to easily find and reference specific files when completing your taxes!
3. Charitable Donations? Make a List!
Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you were there? Similar moments of forgetfulness can happen when filing taxes. Each year, make a list of things like charitable donations that are important to remember, but you might forget in the moment. You can reference this list to ensure you don’t miss a thing!
4. Decide When You’re Going to File
You would never go on a road trip without a map or GPS, so don’t start your taxes without a roadmap! It’s a good idea to have a plan in place for the filing process, and even set deadlines or benchmarks for yourself.
Need help getting started? Ask yourself:
– Will you complete your filing in one sitting?
– During the week?
– Will you need assistance that might take days to resolve?
This will allow you to better hold yourself accountable, so that you can get your filing done in a timely manner.
5. Start Planning for Next Year!
The best way to be organized is to stay organized! Once you have an organizational structure in place that works for you, continue to implement that year after year. Before you know it, you’ll be a tax-filing machine!
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to taxes. Everyone has their own method and strategy when it comes to staying on top of filing. Nonetheless, we hope these tips will set you on the right track for this year’s tax season!
(Originally appeared on CVCU’s blog at mycvcu.org. Please visit our blog for more financial tips and information.)