February challenge – tax planning

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I wouldn’t want to work for the IRS these days. The immense amount of policy changes, the quick response to the COVID legislation and of course the annual tax time. Then of course there are the PPP loans, ERC tax credits, and a lot more. It’s enough to turn someone’s head.

As a programmer, I always look at workload from a technological point of view and ugh. I have a great understanding of the teams working on updating the tax return software. There are just so many nuances, dependencies, and changes to be made.

However, the tax season is just around the corner. The twins set out to file their taxes and expect to receive the incentive tax credits. (They are both part of the generation who in no way qualified for the stimulus checks.) The IRS announcement that they would not accept a return until February 12th really took the wind out of their sails.

Are you ready to file taxes?

While companies legally had until January to submit tax forms, most of us (5 out of 6 of us had jobs in the past year) have received all of our tax documents. This will be the first year girls file taxes and the twins first filing as independents so many lessons to be learned.

  1. Gather all the documents – Donations, job-related income, receipts and invoices, education-related forms and personal information.
  2. Organize and scan everything – We have been paperless for several years now. I’ve had the kids set up digital storage for the past few years to keep important documents. Now we are scanning all the important documents, including tax documents.
  3. Block for some time – Whether you file taxes yourself or pay a professional to prepare them for you, it is important that you block out some time to get your ducks in a row. Make a list of everything. Make sure nothing is missing.

I’ve always filed my own taxes. Well, except for 2 years when both my ex-husband and I had business, it was just too complicated for me. This year I will be leading 3 of my children through filing their own taxes and doing my own as well. One of the twins lets a friend’s father do his best to get more money back.

This month’s challenge is to prepare to file your taxes. Gather all of the documents, make a plan, and take your time so it doesn’t turn into a stressful mess.

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