The Procrastinator's Guide to Tax Season
This tax season has been fraught with many complications-from identity theft to pervasive refund delays courtesy of the IRS. If you’ve already filed your taxes, here’s a virtual pat on the back! But, if you’re one of the 27.1 million Americans who wait until the final day and final hour to file, take heed and make your life easier with these three procrastinator pro tips.
1. E-File: You still have two weeks until the IRS comes knocking on your door, but e-filing is the most efficient option at any time of the season. Many major tax software programs like TurboTax provide e-filing for free or close to free. That way, you won’t be stuck wondering whether or not your private documents detailing pretty much everything about you got lost in the mail or stolen.
2. Upgrade your postage: If you do decide to go the traditional filing route, pay a few extra bucks to certify your envelope at the post office or ship via FedEx/UPS. You’ll receive a tracking number and will gain peace of mind when that little green checkmark appears confirming receipt.
3. Check your work: Misspelled names, incorrect social security numbers, and math mistakes are the most common errors on tax documents. Double, triple and quadruple check your work before sending it off to Uncle Sam to ensure you don’t incur penalties when it’s sent back to you. And yes-you should still double check your work even if you e-file.
Filing your taxes last minute isn’t the worst thing ever, but filing earlier means getting your refund faster, less stress for you or your accountant, and peace of mind knowing they’re out of the way.
Although I see me on the first day of January wondering when I’m going to receive all my tax documents (mostly because I’m terrified that I’ll forget to file for some weird reason), I know I’m the exception, not the rule. How did you file your taxes this year? Did you file right away, or are you waiting until the last minute? How do you “C.U.” navigating tax time in the future?