Taxes are just one of those things you have to do as a grownup, but contrary to popular belief, they don’t have to be stressful.
Each year, our tax situation has changed–sometimes slightly, usually dramatically. We only recently “settled down” in Alabama, so there’s always been something new to account for at tax time. Graduate school, income fluctuations, relocating, starting a home business, and becoming parents are all things that have threatened to make tax time complicated.
Nevertheless, we’ve kept this season as simple as can be, under the circumstances. Here’s how we did it:
Keeping good records throughout the year
Just like you maintain a clean home to avoid hours-long, massive cleaning sessions later, you need to maintain your taxes throughout the year or you’ll be left with a tangled mess at tax time. Keep a budget. Track your monthly expenses and income. Your records should be detailed, but easy to access and update. We simply use a Google spreadsheet that my husband made.
It’s always a good idea to keep careful records for tax purposes, but it’s vital to do so if you run your own business, like a blog! Since no one is withholding from my income, we set aside 25% per month to make sure we’re covered at tax time. We record every blogging expense I have (web site hosting, email service, new work computer, etc.) so that we can claim the proper deductions.
The longer you wait to file, the more stressful the process becomes. Just get it over with! We choose to eliminate all that panicky, deadline-induced stress by filing early. It gives us space to think clearly and make sure we’re not missing any deductions or expenses.
We’ve filed our taxes online all six years of our marriage. When you file online with a tax preparation software like TaxSlayer, you save yourself LOTS of headache–and money! For us, e-filing is the only good option. Since we’re trying to pay off our student loan and put money in savings we know we can’t afford to hire anyone to do our taxes. On the other hand, filing manually is complicated and it’s much more likely that we’ll miss deductions we’re eligible for.
With TaxSlayer, you get an affordable, all-inclusive solution for filing your taxes as pain free as possible. You choose your level of service, everything else is included. TaxSlayer will walk you through the appropriate forms, and you’ll be prompted to input various types of information to make sure you’re claiming all of your deductions and accounting for your income properly.
TaxSlayer also offers free live phone and e-mail support to all customers, so if you run into any questions or hiccups while filing you won’t have to spend hours researching for an answer. In addition, all of your information is saved from year to year, so it will be even faster to file as a repeat customer!
TaxSlayer fits the bill for anyone who wants to simplify tax season. We plan to continue filing our taxes online; and if our tax situation changes with new life developments, TaxSlayer can handle it.
File now at TaxSlayer.com
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.