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The tax season is always stressful, and it is even tougher this year when we are amid the biggest healthcare crisis ever. Despite the extended deadline, you are bound to get the same daunting feeling as July 15 comes closer. Apart from the regular woes and worries of the season, you will have some additional questions related to changes in the law and implications of the coronavirus stimulus on your tax bill. However, there are some measures you can take to resolve these challenges and worries and make the tax season less stressful this year. Here are the most helpful ones.
Don’t wait till the last moment
Thankfully, the IRS has done enough for the taxpayers this year by giving you a long extension for the deadline. So it’s your turn now and you should take a responsible approach by getting your returns ready well in time. Don’t worry about missing the deadline because your tax professional will still be operating, though they may be accepting documents via mail. Even if you don’t want to risk exposure, you can still get in touch and get started with the process. Doing it sooner makes sense if you don’t want to be a part of the last-minute rush.
Have your documents in place
Although you may be working from home and work life will be disrupted, you have to be on top of documents to steer clear of stress. Gather all the requisite tax forms from your employer. Business owners should also have all the important receipts, bills, mortgage, and tax statements, and deduction backup paperwork in place. Whether you want to file on your own or take help from a professional, documentation is what you need to get started with the process.
Be aware of tax code changes
Tax codes change every year and this year, things are all the more different due to the pandemic. You can reap the benefits of some tax savings if you are aware of the code changes, so it makes sense to stay ahead of the news. At the same time, plan for complications, such as an impending audit notice. Look for tax attorneys who offer innovative solutions to handle negotiations with the IRS. You will surely be able to save yourself from a lot of stress and money with the right professional guidance from seasoned experts.
Access the IRS website for answers
Taxpayers often have a lot of questions when the deadline closes in and this year, you will probably have more of them. Doing some research on your own is a good idea, though you can seek guidance from experts as well. Accessing the IRS website for the answers to common queries and concerns is a smart move because you can get most of them with only a few clicks. Ensure that you go through the latest versions of the publications because they are updated on a regular basis. You can also dial a toll-free number to get answers to your questions and prepare for the tax due date.
Understand the impact of major life events
Some major life events such as marriage, a new baby in the family, buying or selling a home, starting a new business, retirement, or going to college can have a significant impact on your tax situation. If you have been through any of these events this year, be aware of the implications it may have on your taxes. Checking the IRS website for knowing the facts will help you to some extent. But it is always better to consult your tax lawyer in this context because they are the experts. Make sure that you do it well in time so that there are no last moment hassles.
Stay organized through the year
While the aforementioned measures are helpful in the tax season, staying organized through the year is the best thing to do. It actually ensures that half of your work would be done when the deadline comes. Designate a location where you can keep all your documents and receipts throughout the year so that you don’t need to hunt for them. Avoid discarding any documents, even if they seem insignificant. At the end of the season, you may miss deductions if you haven’t been careful enough to retain documents. Apart from hard copies of documents, maintain clean digital records as well because they can cut down the stress to a significant extent.
Filing your taxes need not be as stressful as you may think. Following these strategies can help you a lot when it comes to keeping your stress levels under control of this pandemic season!