Unless you file for an extension, taxes are due on Tuesday, April 18th this year. The point of this post is short and sweet: Don’t forget to file them!

Recommendations
In the past I have recommended both Turbo Tax and Fishback Tax. I know people who have had success with H&R Block and also a personal accountant. These are just some ideas. Consider your complexity, capabilities, and overall comfort with filing when evaluating which option is right for you.

Discounts
Some companies offer discounts on Turbo Tax (or perhaps other tax filing tools) to their employees, so be sure to check on that if you are going to file your own taxes. I received an email recently from Turbo Tax saying their prices go up after March 16th, which might be the motivation you need to file in the next couple days.

Tip: Stay Organized
Taxes can be overwhelming, but as I’ve mentioned before, keeping one paper and one electronic folder throughout the year with all your relevant tax documents can significantly improve the process come tax time. (You can read a previous post on taxes here, where I answer some common questions.)

The Calculation
Here is a simplified way to think about the tax calculation:

  • Add up all your taxable income
  • Subtract deductions
  • Subtract exemptions
  • Apply the tax rates (a percentage) to this net number
  • Subtract any tax credits
  • Compare this number to what you paid throughout the year. If you paid too much, you get a refund. If you paid too little, you’ll owe some money.

That’s it! Basically. Of course, there can be a lot of pieces that go into each number and many people have more complexity to their situation which requires further detail.We’ll see if legislation gets passed to simplify the tax filing process in the future.

But until then, I hope filing is smooth sailing for you this year…or at least less than painful.

Until next time,

Lucy


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