Mr. E.I. Advice on Taxes

Preparing your taxes can be a very stressful task. To help with this arduous task, I have identified several steps for you to incorporate.

  1. Get focused. Unless you’re focused, you’re going to look at that receipt six times rather than once. This is all mental  at this point.  Schedule a time to get to work and dedicate as much time as necessary get it done.
  2. Get started. This step requires action.  Get your pencil or pen and take the blank forms out of the envelope where you’ve been hiding them. Starting a task is usually the hardest part. Your taxes won’t go away until you complete them, so as Nike says, “just do it.”
  3. Get organized. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and your accountant (if you have one) both want final numbers. It makes it easier for them and less financially painful for you. Bring either of them a shopping bag full of receipts and you’re going to feel the pain . . . especially in your wallet or purse.
    Get these documents together:
    • W-2s to report wages
    • 1099s to report interest and dividends
    • 1098s for deducting your interest and taxes
  4. Get Professional Advice. If necessary, seek help from an accountant or professional tax preparer. I always believe if you start a task, you do it right the first time. Don’t try to wing your taxes – when in doubt, seek help from a professional.Although there is no perfect way of preparing taxes, there is certainly a right way to do your taxes. If you follow the methodology outlined above for preparing taxes, then you will not have to feel like running away from home every tax season.

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