So, it’s Friday night and not just any Friday night… It’s April 14. The day before April 15, which is (usually) known as Tax Day here in the United States.
And I just had this conversation with my sister:
She suggested I write a Procrastinator’s Guide to Taxes – although I am pretty sure she only suggested it so that I would not come to her house and start doing her taxes for her – so here goes. I won’t be telling you how to do your taxes, but hopefully just get you motivated and ready to start!
Why is tax day later this year?
Tax Day is April 18 this year and I thought it was because it fell on a weekend, which would push it back to Monday. But Monday is an official holiday too! I found out that the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act was signed into existence by President Lincoln on April 16, 1862. This holiday is only officially observed in D.C. (other states have different emancipation dates), but since that is the home of the IRS, guess who is taking the day off?
So, you now have until Tuesday to file your taxes – now what?
Step One: Gather all your documents.
The good news it that most documents can be found online, even if they are mailed to you.
- All income received (W-2 forms, 1099 Forms, etc.)
- Income adjustments (health insurance, retirement contributions, mortgage interest, student loan interest, etc.)
- Tax credits and deductions (education costs, medical expenses, business expenses, etc.)
Step Two: Decide how and who will do your taxes. You have a few options depending on your personal situation.
- Do them yourself online. I have used both TaxAct.com and Turbotax.com, but I would not spend any more time researching them, just pick one.
- Make an appointment with a tax preparation service. If you do this, you must go online right now, and find somewhere that has an appointment open.
- I do not recommend filling out your form by hand, unless you are using the 1040EZ Form. Or just really enjoy math.
- If you come to the conclusion that you will not be able to file your taxes on time, you can file an extension. This is not an ideal situation because you will more than likely still have to pay a penalty fee plus interest.
Step Three: Decide when you are going to file.
Not just push the “send” button but actually sit down and fill out all the information. If it is already late at night, do not start anything now, unless you are a night owl or vampire and become extremely alert the later it gets. I also do not recommend starting them on Monday. That leaves you Saturday and Sunday. Sunday is Easter for the majority of Americans, so that might not be a good day to start either. Unless you actually work in D.C., or for the IRS, you will probably have to work on Monday. So that leaves us with….Saturday! That’s right. Start working on them on Saturday. If you don’t finish, you will have Monday and Tuesday to finish them.
This is really important.
I know you might feel like you have waited this long, so why spoil your weekend? But investing just a few hours on Saturday morning could make the difference of being able to enjoy your Sunday!
Here is a list of resources – and, of course, I must inform you that I am not a tax, legal or accounting professional. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.
Did you wait until last minute to file your taxes? Or did you do them as soon as possible? Comment below and share whether you like or dislike doing taxes and when you usually file them!