Today’s tax preparation tips are sponsored by TurboTax. All opinions are mine.
I’m just going to come out and tell you that I get excited about financial management, literacy and tax season.
Sharing ways to better managing finances is important to me. When I became a better manager of our families money I brought a sense of freedom and empowerment.
Now that tax time is upon us I want to share a few ideas to help us this year and moving forward.
Stay on top of your earnings.
I encourage you to look at your paycheck regularly to see if there are any work related deductions that can be eliminated or reduced. My husband and I recently realized it would be cheaper for us to drop our dental coverage and save the amount of the premium in an account and self pay for dental services.
Organize your tax documents monthly.
Let me encourage you to stay consistent with tracking your tax documents. All of the paper work you’ll need when it’s time to file taxes should be in a central location. Last year I created a tax return drawer to stay organized. In it I can find prior years returns and any documents I need when filing my current years taxes.
Each year has it’s own binder and sections to hold specific paper work.
File your own taxes.
This is not feasible for everyone, but it’s definitely worth looking into. Getting organized last year gave me a sense of empowerment that led to researching the benefits of filing my own taxes.
I ended up trying TurboTax because of their Absolute Zero offer for those who file straight froward federal and state returns. If I only used forms 1040A 1040EZ I would qualify for free filing.
Being self-employed makes my situation is a little more detailed so I chose the Home & Business option. With the TurboTax mobile app and W2 Snap feature, I was able to upload my W2 and auto-populate my information into the return using my camera phone.
As I answered questions, I could see my refund amount go up or down. That was exciting and with just about every change, the TurboTax ExplainWhy feature provided explanations about the credits or deductions I was seeing.
At one point in the process I thought I was going to need some help. Thank goodness I could talk with a live expert if I needed to. I got things figured out, but knowing LIVE help via the SmartLook feature was available was encouraging.
I love getting my taxes filed as soon as possible. It’s one less lingering thing I have to check off my first quarter to-do list.
When the taxes are done early, I’m able to get back to doing the things I love. I prefer to use my time watching my son play Rugby or giving him some much needed driving lessons.