January signifies a lot of things, but one of the most common things associated with every New Year is resolutions or goals. People make a lot of different resolutions every year, with some of the most typical ones being weight loss, exercising more, eating better and spending more time with loved ones to name just a few. One idea that probably doesn’t come up too much is getting your taxes done early. Of course, there are many taxpayers that are ready to go as soon as the tax season hits – which is on January 19 this year – but there are many more that just can’t help but put off their tax return as long as they can. Even many people who are expecting a refund still dread going through the entire filing process, but for those who are lucky enough to get a refund, tax time can be an exciting time.
Plan Ahead for the Most Success
In any case, the real factor that will either make or break your tax season is whether or not you are prepared. Every year, taxpayers are encouraged to get ready ahead of time so their tax-filing season can go smoothly. Most taxpayers do want to have their taxes done and get their money back as soon as they possibly can, but in order to make that happen, taxpayers need to do their part to prepare? So what about you? Are you ready for the tax season? Do you have your T’s crossed and your I’s dotted? There are a lot of things you can do to get ready for tax season and how well you prepare will go a long way in how smoothly your return and refund process goes. In fact, if you’re fully prepared then chances are your tax filing process will be a piece of cake and you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your refund in no time at all.
Gather and Organize
So perhaps the most important thing you can to do to get ready is to gather up all your important tax documents and get them organized. From your W-2s to your pay stubs, and from your medical bills to your receipts and deductions, make sure any paperwork that will be part of your tax return is in order. It doesn’t matter if you are filing your taxes yourself on paper or electronically, or if you are using a tax professional, getting all of these kinds of documents in order is the first step towards a successful tax season. You can also access all the necessary tax documents, worksheets, and instructions from irs.gov.
Think Safety and Security
Meanwhile, how you choose to actually file taxes plays a big role in how quickly the process goes from start to finish. While you can go the old school route and file your return on paper and send it in via traditional mail, that is not the fastest way to get a return. It’s also not the safest method. According to the IRS, the quickest and most secure method to file your return is to e-file. In fact, in most cases, the IRS is able to process about 90 percent of returns filed electronically in less than three weeks. Plus, when you file electronically, you are less likely to be the victim of a tax scammer.
The Time to Prepare Is Now
To that end, remember that con artists are also aware that tax season has started and they will be working in full force to scam as many innocent taxpayers as they can. Don’t let yourself become a victim of tax fraud or identity theft. Make sure your computer is safe from viruses and hackers and be sure to safeguard your tax files carefully and thoroughly. Tax season is here, ready or not. How smoothly it goes for you will depend on how well you prepare before you file. So here’s a piece of advice: start preparing now.