One Month Until Tax Day: 4 Tips for Filing On-Time This Year

The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.

~Albert Einstein

Just the thought of preparing income tax returns strikes a sense of dread in many people. How about you? The good news is that, because April 15 is some kind of holiday somewhere this year, we get 3 extra days before our returns are due. The bad news is that, if you haven’t started collecting and organizing your tax-supporting documents yet, you need to get moving!

Here are some excerpts from a timely article from CHADD that gives you 4 practical steps you can take to file your tax returns on-time this year:

  1. Make your plan and write it down. This can be in the form of a checklist or “to-do” dates on your calendar. Some online calendar systems will allow you to email reminders to yourself. Making a plan can address the tendency towards procrastination that often comes with adult ADHD.In your plan, schedule an appointment with a tax professional or a day on your calendar to prepare your taxes. There are very good online tax preparation programs you can purchase for low cost – several of these can be downloaded. Also, some large chain stores make it easier to find a tax professional by having them available during tax season.
  2. Collect everything you need to file your taxes in one place. Even a shoe box will help in compiling records for you and your family members – such as bills, interest statements, and mortgage taxes. It doesn’t need to be neatly filed or sorted. Just having the pieces together will help when preparing your taxes.In your collection of information, you should have your proof of health insurance coverage and any related statements from your health insurance company, which may be Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C. When completing your taxes, you will need to provide information on health insurance coverage for yourself and family members as part of the Affordable Care Act requirements.
  3. Complete your taxes on your chosen day. When the day comes to meet with a tax professional, bring your box or file of information, along with any personal identification and checking account information you may need. The tax professional will assist you with appropriate questions and guidance. Ask the professional to e-file for you while you are in the office. If you think you might owe taxes and need to send a paper check, bring a pre-stamped envelope with you to the tax preparer’s office. The tax preparer can place the return in the mail for you.If you are doing your own tax filing, set up your work area with your computer, personal information and box or file of tax information first, so everything is in one place before you begin. Consider using an online tax preparation program. This will walk you through each step of the process and gives you the opportunity to go backward for corrections.
  4. Keep a record of this year’s tax return. Be sure to have a copy of your taxes printed by the tax professional or print your own copy at home. Set up a storage system — add it to your box of information or put all the papers and the copy into a file folder. Label the box or file folder and store this in your home filing system, or a safe place where you keep your family records.But remember, you don’t need to go it alone! The professional organizers at Absolutely Organized are ready to work side-by-side with you to help you organize your tax documents – and not in a shoe box! Call us today to schedule an appointment: 410-329-3300 in Maryland or 770-733-1957 in Georgia, or e-mail us at We’re insured, bonded, and confidential.

    Here’s another way to help you get organized for tax time!

    Katherine Trezise, president of Absolutely Organized, and Jennifer Power have written a book, My Journey to an Organized Life: A Creative Road Map for
    Organizing Your Time, Space, and Finances
    , available at Page 67 gives you step-by-step instructions for setting up a tax documents folder.

    And last, but not least …

    If you’re in the Atlanta area, come hear Katherine speak at these two exciting events:

    Atlanta Home Show – Saturday, March 19 at 12:15, Cobb Galleria, Atlanta – “Freedom from Disorganization: Clear the Clutter & Live Your Life”

    Financial Literacy Summit – Wednesday, March 23 at 2:30, Taylor Lodge, Johns Creek – “Organizing for Financial Peace of Mind”