The Game Plan

Everyone likes a good game when it comes to sports; but, what about the game plan when it comes to tax preparation.   Do you wait until the last-minute as the seconds are counting down to zero on April 15th when the game clock runs out only to go into tax preparation overtime pushing the due date into October with an extension?

There are things to consider.  Do you prepare your own tax return? Have you made enough this year to file a tax return.  Do you hire a tax preparer to prepare it for you? Do you file on a paper return or file electronically?  Do you want a paper check refund or a direct deposit?

There are things to consider when it comes to a plan for preparing and filing your tax returns.  Sometimes things are out of your control when it comes to tax return preparation when you are waiting on partnership or S-Corp Schedule K-1s to finish preparing your return.  The idea is to set a goal of a deadline when you would want to prepare and file your tax return.  From my tax preparation experience, I have never found anyone that filed an extension who wanted to file a tax return in July instead of October.  People just like to put tax preparation and filing off as long as they can.

Come up with a game plan.  It begins with:

The date when you expect to have all the tax support needed to begin tax preparation.  From this, put a date in mind that you want your tax return completed and circle the date on the calendar for when you want to start preparing your tax return.

Decide if you want to prepare your tax return yourself or hire a tax preparer.

Determine if you have made enough in wages or income in the current tax year to even file a tax return.

Begin preparing or have your tax preparer begin to prepare your tax return on the date you circled.

Decide whether you want to file electronically or own paper.  Most tax preparers are required to file electronically unless you  opt out.

Decide whether you want a refund check or direct deposit.  Some people like direct deposit.  Other people like physical checks.

Tax preparation doesn’t have to be stressful.  It just takes a plan.  Allowing the tax return support to sit on a desk unopened only brings additional stress as you put it off until the last possible date, minute, or seconds.  So make a game plan and stick to it.  In the end, you will find if you have a game plan for your taxes, tax preparation and filing was easier than you thought.  What is your game plan when it comes to tax preparation? Do you have one?



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