7da9f2d4905741a6a225f19d5e9bbb0eDoes the idea of filing your taxes leave you feeling stressed? Do you put it off until the very last day only to slightly panic at the thought? Well, you shouldn’t. Yes, tax time isn’t anyone’s favorite time of year, but it also doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety and dread either. There are ways to have your taxes filed correctly and timely without having to feel the pressure of the looming April 15th date.

A few tips to follow in order to stay stress free this tax season include:

  1. Don’t put off tomorrow what can be done today. Once you receive all your tax documents, schedule a time to focus on your taxes without interruption and take the time necessary to go through the steps without feeling rushed along. By getting a head start, you have time to ask questions if any arise and avoid late penalties from filing after the deadline.
  2. Get help. You turn to a mechanic to make sure your car is running smoothly, a dentist to make sure your teeth are cavity-free, so why not turn to a tax specialist to ensure that your filing is accurate? With professionals from online tax companies (ex. www.communitytax.com) you can ease the burden off your shoulders and turn things over to a pro.
  3. Use free software. If you feel like your taxes are fairly straightforward and you only have one W2 without any additional circumstances, choosing to file online using a program like TurboTax or something similar may be the best option for you. This can help cut down on fees and usually doesn’t take too long to complete.
  4. Take a break. Once you’ve started the process, you can always come back to it later if you don’t want to finish all at once. Or, once you have gone through all the steps, go the gym, make dinner, or something else to take your mind off of it for a little while, before looking at it again for one final review.
  5. Plan a reward. The accomplishment of filing your taxes feels good, but plan an extra bit of relaxation, like a massage, to act as a motivator to get it done. It doesn’t have to be anything overtly expensive, but knowing there is something to look forward to once you’ve finished can make the process go a little smoother.

Let’s face it: no one says they look forward to tax season, but it has to be done. Go into it knowing that the more you stress about it, the worse it will be. Get yourself organized, set aside some time, take a deep breath, and go for it.

The organization is the most time-consuming part, but once you have that in place, the rest should be fairly easy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and, when in doubt, call in for tax professional reinforcements. Here’s to a stress free 2015 tax season!

Do you plan on filing your own taxes this year or hiring someone to file for you? What are your tips to staying stress free during tax season?