..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tax Time!

Guess What? It's Tax Time!

I always have to wait until after 1/31 before I can do my tax returns to make sure I get all W-2's, 1099's, etc. They have to be sent out by 1/31. So I spend my January getting my end-of-year stuff up to date on my computer. I use Quicken to keep our finances in order (including my husband's small side business). I have an Associate's Degree in Accounting and have been a bookkeeper in my past life so I'm very organized and detailed in doing our finances. But it's getting to be a pain and I'm finding it harder and harder to keep ahead. I've become a procratinator in this area of my life which is highly unusual for me! But, with my health, on my good days I would rather do something else and on my bad days I don't feel like sitting at a desk and trying to think straight. I do my devotions, take my vitamins and pray that God would enable me to sit and do what I have to do. And He answers my prayer. Thank You, God! I try to have it done before the 2nd week in February. This year I was right on it! Yeah! I've already gotten my refunds back.

I use Turbo Tax (and have used Tax Cut in the past) to prepare our taxes and I've taught my whole family how to use it to do their tax returns too. Even my grown up niece and nephews know how to fill their own out! It just took sitting down with them one year and going step by step through it. Now, I make sure they are started and then I go back through it when they are finished to make sure they didn't make any mistakes. I did the same with my Mom and my sisters.

Tax forms confuse and scare everyone which ends in a brain freeze so they pay someone to do it for them and it's really not necessary in most cases! Unless you have some major complications, you can easily fill your own taxes out. If you do a 1040EZ or a plain 1040, then you can do it by simply picking up those forms and filling one out in pencil. Once you are satisfied with your return, fill the other out in pen, attach your W-2's and you are through. It costs nothing! Just go line by line and read it carefully. If you aren't sure what they are talking about, flip out your little book of instructions (you can get them when you get your forms) and read. Usually, if you don't know what they are talking about, then it doesn't pertain to you. But just read carefully. And read all the instructions on the form from the very top to the very bottom and from the sides. It will tell you exactly where to staple your W-2 and your check, where to sign, etc.

If you do a little more with your tax returns like itemize your deductions, sell your home, buy another home, have a small business, etc...then I would advise getting Tax Cut or Turbo Tax and try to do your own. It's not a complicated program and it makes it as easy as it can be. Even if you decide to have an accountant do your taxes, do them yourself first so you can learn just what it is that you need to give your accountant. You will learn the things that you can deduct and the things that you need to keep up with. It will only cost you time and the price of the program. Once you've played around with it and are satisfied with the results you can give your accountant the figures and he/she will plug them in. It saves them time and that will save you money!!!

If you have some heavy complications and a larger, brisk business then you need someone more professional to advise you and take care of your books. But, burger flippers and hair stylists unite! You can do your own taxes as long as you can read and follow instructions! You don't have to pay someone to do them for you. It wastes your money and you don't make enough to waste! And don't get the loans secured by your tax refund! They charge you interest, and usually a hefty interest rate at that, for those loans. It's a waste of your money. I'm so cheap that I won't even pay the electronic fee for electronic filing (usually around $15) when I can buu a .41 stamp to mail it. I will have it electronically deposited in my bank account (which costs nothing) and I'm willing to wait for it rather than waste money. Of course, I understand that there are emergency situations so I'm not judging anyone, but I want all the money back that the govt owes me and I don't want to pay a middle man if I can help it! Now, if I owe the govt taxes, then I wait until 4/14 to mail it so I keep my money as long as possible. I don't like to get in the crowds at the post office on 4/15.

So those are my Tax Tips!

For more on organizing your home office check out these posts:

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