Do you wish the money fairy would magically help you with your taxes? That is because unless you expect a sizeable refund, you likely fall into the category of “immensely dislike” tax time. After yet another less than thrilling time had by my husband and I while completing our taxes, I have decided to implement some new actions to improve our experience next year.
If you and your spouse jointly prepare the taxes then you both need to be aware of and willing to implement this advice. If you are the unlucky person tasked with the job then it actually makes life simpler…one less person to get in the way.
1.) Gather all important tax documents including receipts and notes taken throughout the year. By having all of your documents in one convenient, well organized location you are less likely to waste most of your tax preparation day searching for a necessary document. This will maximize your time, improve your efficiency and reduce your stress.
2.) Schedule a time and place that is most suitable for peace and quiet. Do not try to prepare your taxes in a high traffic area with lots of potential for disturbance. You need to be isolated from distractions as much as possible. Make sure the family is aware that today is tax preparation day and that they need to silently occupy themselves. If this not a reasonable request for your family, then have your spouse or another family member remove the rowdy family members from the house during this time.
3.) Mentally prepare for the event. Do not underestimate the stress that accompanies preparing your taxes. Unless you are a tax or money professional you likely dread the tax preparation experience, so it may help to give yourself a pep talk prior to the day.
4.) When you feel yourself getting tired or frustrated while completing your taxes…take a break. I realize you may have set goals for yourself to get your taxes completed by a certain day or time, but for some reason you may not meet your deadline. Give yourself a break…literally and figuratively. If it looks like your marathon tax session will have to be continued then so be it. It is better to revisit them at a later time then to make a mistake because you were tired, frustrated or rushing through them.
5.) Do not take your frustrations out on your family. Rarely does preparing your taxes always go smoothly. You will likely not have a particular document, or you will come across a question you need to research further which will prevent you from getting them completed as promptly as you would like. Whatever the reason for your frustrations, do not take your stress out on those around you.
I realize implementing this advice is easier said than done because tax time often brings out our less then endearing qualities, but give it a try. If you really need help with your money then do not hesitate to consult a professional. Above all else, remember every year you survive tax time and again this year you will as well. If it is possible for you to incorporate some of the above advice in your approach you and your family will likely survive tax time less battered and bruised.
How do you survive tax time? Let me know your suggestions at http://www.moneyandsavingshelp.com/contact/.
ABOUT: Kelli Bhattacharjee has over 8 years experience in the investment and financial services industry. Today she is proud to be her family’s CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and offer her expertise and experiences to her readers. She is the creator of this website, which strives to provide valuable money and savings help to other family CFOs.