Two weeks from today, millions of us will be rushing to get something -- either our tax return or an extension request -- to the Internal Revenue Service.
Before you shift into full tax crisis gear, here are a dozen tax blog posts, stories and excerpts from my book that could make the process easier and perhaps a bit less costly:
- 10 tax law changes that affect 2011 returns
- 10 overlooked ways to cut your taxes
- Tax filing preparation checklist
- Don't deduct that!
- 5 tests a child must meet to be a dependent
- Figuring out your filing status
- Which form is right for you?
- Knowing and clearing tax deduction threshold hurdles
- 2011 and 2012 tax rates, tax brackets
- Tax statements you'll need to file
- Report all your income, even without a 1099
- Business mileage records and other Schedule C considerations
If you use a tax pro, be sure to be a good tax client. If you use tax software, be sure you pick the product that fits your needs, be it for your PC or a mobile app. You also might be able to get some free tax help.
And don't forget about your state taxes! States that follow the usual April 15 federal deadline date typically extend their filing deadlines when Uncle Sam does, but double check so that you don't submit your state and local tax returns late.
As you can see from the photo there to the left, it's a major space- as well as time-consuming process. And yes, that TV remote there in the middle is a critical retrun preparation tool.
I'm not alone in spreading out on the floor to work on my taxes. A woman interviewed for Marketplace radio's recent piece on tax-filing rituals admitted to do the same.
She's a freelance writer, too. It must have something to do with the journalist gene.
How do you do your taxes, or get your material ready for your tax professional? Is it an annual habit that's become a regular April (or earlier) event? Or does every filing season bring a new and different way to deal with your tax duties?