Every year I put off doing my taxes until the final few weeks of the tax filing season, even when I am expecting to receive a nice sum of money back. I think it’s just the hassle of having to get all my documents organized, but once that step is done then it’s just a matter of spending a few minutes on Turbotax.com to fill in the info, and once it’s all behind me it’s a nice feeling.
This year, however, I am not quite so optimistic about my expected refund, if I will have one at all, so this gives me even less incentive to get my taxes filed.
I imagine for most of us, the reason to delay filing your taxes is because you know Uncle Sam is going to want more of yoor heard-earned money and you don’t want him to have the satisfaction of getting it until the very last possible minute.
I put it off because the whole thing is a hassle, and we want to be sure we have received all the right papers and such before proceeding. We have until April 30th to file anyways, so when you Americans start to panic, that’s a good sign that we should get organized and take care of it!
I did my taxes months ago, but I haven’t sent them in yet. My father the tax representative-accountanty-guy told me he’ll send them for me on the 16th with his. Something about lowering the chances of audits or something. Meh, whatever. I don’t get anything back anyway, so I don’t care.
My accountant does the same thing each year. In January/February she tells me I owe a zillion dollars, but she’ll keep working on it. A month later she tells me I owe 2 grand. A few weeks later she tells me she has gotten it down to 500 or so. Then, when I get the papers to sign I see that I’m getting back a few hundred. She is a great lady, but she does the same song/dance each year.
Because my appointment isn’t until tomorrow. With Spencer’s arrival, we should be getting something back this year, which will be a huge relief. For the past three years, we have owed approximately $500, $1400, and $3500. Pretty crappy.
You know what’s really bad? My taxes are all done. I had to do them last month so I could do financial aid paperwork for next year. But I still haven’t actually filed them. In the last month and a half I haven’t managed to stick the completed forms in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and walk down to the mailbox on the corner. I have no good excuse. Just procrastination and general laziness.
If you’re young and single, don’t bother going to a tax person. Just get a 1040EZ and run with it. We used to use TurboTax, but now that we’re homeowners, parents, and at-home business people, we’ve got stuff that we don’t want to worry about. Plus, tax preparation is a write-off for me.
I create a “spot” in January…into that spot I put all envelopes coming into the house that say “IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT” on the outside. When I go do my taxes, I open up all those envelopes and I make a few piles:
Pile I: INCOME PILE
(I seperate all of these out in categories - I have 1099-Rs (rolled over a 401k), 1099-Bs (sale of stock), 1099-Int(interest income), and 1099-Div (dividend income) this year).
Now, if you sold stock it gets tricky, cause you also need the records for when you BOUGHT the stock. The internet makes this SO much easier.
Pile II: DEDUCTION PILE
Mortgage Interest Statement, Property Tax Statement - those are the big ones for us.
Pile III: Last years tax returns:
This gives me things like state income paid with last years return, and provides a sanity check on all the dividends and stuff.
Pile IV: Everything else:
Tuition stuff, child care stuff, etc.
I do my own taxes, but that is really what you need.
Oh, and I’ll second the advice - if its just you, you have a few w-2s that your employer sent you, don’t own a house, don’t trade stock, don’t bother with a tax guy - file an EZ…it will take 10 minutes. Really - its that easy.