Tax Filing Doesn't Have to Be Avoided

Are tax filing and procrastination two words that you can relate to all too well? Do you receive your W-2 forms from your employer, take them home, and watch as they collect dust sitting on your desk in your home office? To cut costs, you may have decided to file your taxes yourself and now you feel overwhelmed as you don't even know where to begin.

Before you begin, make sure you have all the appropriate tax documents for the previous year. If you have more than one job, check to make sure you have W-2 forms from each employer. If you have a student loan, make sure you have the forms handy showing what the interest paid for the year was. If you have a mortgage, be sure the bank has sent you the appropriate forms so you can report the taxes paid for the year. If you don't know what forms you need, don't worry. Don't be discouraged. Online tax software programs are designed to easily walk you through the process.

Once you're ready to start, you'll want to choose the online tax software program best suited for you. Compare prices online and read user reviews, when available. Don't forget that you might be able to file for free if you're yearly income falls into a certain bracket. Select a program from a reputable company that offers "live help" services if you can, so you can have the reassurance of knowing there's someone available to answer any questions you may have. However, tax filing is a pretty simple process if you just follow the instructions and answer the questions correctly.

Tax filing does not and should not be a process you put off until the last minute. Depending on your personal financial situation, you may need to collect receipts for itemized deductions or submit other documents, along with your taxes for the year. Compiling this information requires time and you don't want to rush yourself. Submitting your taxes incorrectly is not something you want to do. Additionally, if you're expecting a tax refund for the year, visit a website like for more information. You're only delaying your refund by putting off the process!

Don't let yourself become one of those people desperately driving to the post office at the last minute so they can get the appropriate postmark on their tax returns. In fact, tax filing can be done online, eliminating the hassle of having to mail your returns at all. Websites like serve as great resources for guiding you through this process. The sooner you file online, the better, as most companies offer discounted rates on software programs early in the tax season.

Jodie Stoughton, CPC is a freelance writer residing in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She works as a certified professional coder for a health insurance company and specializes in articles focusing on medical coding, as well as health and wellness.

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