April 17, 2012, the day to file your taxes, is just around the corner. If you have not started preparing your taxes, you are considered a tax procrastinator. Most tax procrastinators don’t become one intentionally. They simply put off doing their taxes until they realize there is no more time left to wait. These individuals are then scrambling at the last second to submit their information in order to avoid paying late fees and penalties.
Rather than stress out about your last minute task, you can rest assured that you are not alone, and you should use the following tips to ensure that your tax preparation goes smoothly so that you can submit your taxes on time.
Gather your records for filing.
The first thing you need to do before you can prepare and submit your taxes is to get all of your documents and records together. This information includes forms from your employer, such as W2s or 1099s, as well as interest statements, mortgage statements and anything else that has a bearing on the amount of taxes you pay each year. It is also a good idea to have a list of your families social security numbers, as these will be needed to file your taxes.
Find a tax preparation software or company.
If you have a company do your taxes, you need to contact them soon to set up an appointment. Right now, these companies are dealing with other tax procrastinators like yourself, so they will be busy and will need to schedule an appointment for you.
If you would rather do your taxes yourself, you need to purchase a tax preparation software. Since you have already waited this long, using software will allow you to send your taxes in electronically, which will save you from having to send your information in the mail and prove that it was sent before April 17th.
Some tax preparation software does not cost any money. All you have to do is pay a filing fee, and this fee can be taken directly from your projected return, so there is no need to spend money up front.
Be prepared for delays.
This year, the IRS had some issues towards the beginning of the tax season. Because of this, many individuals have experienced a delay in their submission process. The IRS has gotten their act back together, so nobody should be at risk of a delay, but it is still smarter to start your preparation now.
Get it done now to avoid fees.
If you are late to pay your taxes, you will be hit with numerous fees and penalties. This can be a very expensive price to pay for procrastinating.
So instead of sitting on the couch watching TV, get up, get your records together and go visit a tax preparation company or use a tax preparation software. The sooner you start the process, the sooner you’ll be done and you can get back to your TV show. Plus, if you start now, and there’s an issue, you have a few more days to fix the issue before being considered late.
Andrew Malak is a business student at the University of Texas who loves to write in his spare time. To ensure all his work is clear and free of grammatical errors he uses a grammar checker. He cannot wait for graduation as his parents have promised him a Bahamas vacation.
- Review For TurboTax 2011 (2012tax.org)