*This post was sponsored, and paid for, by MyFreeTaxes. All opinions are my own.
It happens every year, yet somehow it manages to catch us by surprise, at least if you’re anything like me. And, whether you receive good news or bad news, I think there is always an element of stress lurking around. But, tax time doesn’t have to be a stressful time when you have the right people to help you find your way. Even better, it doesn’t have to be expensive either. It’s just a matter of the right tax tips for less stress, which is exactly what I have for you this tax season.
As someone who handles all the financials in our household, I know all too well about the overwhelm that can so easily come as a result of taxes. As a small business owner, this stress can certainly be multiplied if I let it.
But, as someone who has been handling the taxes in my home for years, I have come up with some pretty simple things you can do to have less stress – and even more money in your pocket in many cases.
1. Be organized
Be organized in how you keep all the needed for paperwork ready for tax time. It can just be a simple folder, but be sure to label it. As soon as you get anything you even think you might need for tax purposes, put them right in the folder right away. If you set them somewhere else in the meantime, these paper things have a funny way of getting lost in the shuffle of things.
2. Start early
Start getting ready what you can early. Gather papers, receipts, and anything you know you will need but may not have kept in your tax file throughout the year.
3. Take it in stages
When it comes time to actually start working on filing your taxes, complete each step in the process to completion. Then move on to the next step. For instance, get everything gathered and organized. Then, set the taxes aside for a bit before moving on. I find that if you try to tackle the entirety of the tax filing process in one sitting, it feels too overwhelming. Then procrastination easily sets in.
4. Know the resources you have available to you.
For instance, did you know that you don’t have to pay to have your taxes filed? It’s true! If your household earned less than $66,000 in 2017 you can file both your federal and state returns for free using MyFreeTaxes.com. And, 70% of U.S. tax filers actually do qualify for free tax filing!
This is the only free, online tax filing product offered by a nonprofit organization. The people at United Way have made this incredible resource available to over 100 million U.S. taxpayers as part of the fight for the financial stability of every person in every community. Tax time should never add more of a financial burden to already stressed finances.
MyFreeTaxes is easy to use, too. Just upload a picture of your W-2, and MyFreeTaxes will automatically fill in your information. Even better, most filers complete their taxes under an hour! I think this just may be the best news about the entire program!
If you would prefer to file your taxes in person, you can even visit the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. VITA site location information is available on MyFreeTaxes.com or by calling: 1-855- My-TX- Help.
5. Let the right people guide you
Not all tax “experts” are created equal. And, when it comes to your taxes you want to be sure you’ve got the right people for the job. MyFreeTaxes is powered by H&R Block’s premium software. This way, filing is easy, secure, and guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
The software automatically scans for any tax credit you may be entitled to, making sure you get your maximum refund. After all, how can you or I know the ins and outs of all the tax laws and opportunities – especially since they change from year to year? If you qualify for some of the most common tax credits like the Earned Income Credit or the Child Tax Credit, MyFreeTaxes will find this out for you.
The right people handling your taxes can even get you a little more money in your pocket, too. Taxpayers save an average of $200 in fees by using MyFreeTaxes instead of a paid tax preparer. And, the program has saved users $180 million dollars in filing fees since 2009.
If you have questions along the way, IRS-certified specialists are ready to answer your questions in real time so you’re never left to wonder if you’re doing everything you should be doing or happen to be doing something you shouldn’t be doing.
If you have questions, you can call, email or use the chat box to get assistance from a real person in real time, and you can speak to someone in either English or Spanish. The MyFreeTaxes Helpline is available from January 22 through April 30, 2018 from 10:00 a.m.
to 10:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, and between Noon and 9 p.m. EST on Saturdays.
6. Be aware of other “free” programs
Some “free” tax preparation products only cover federal (not state) filing, or charge extra for anything beyond the most basic forms. MyFreeTaxes is completely free for individuals and families who earned less than $66,000 in 2017. This is true whether you file in multiple states, work as a freelancer, have a side gig, or earn investment income.
If you are self employed, MyFreeTaxes offers specialized forms for self-employed filers like me (and you!).
7. File early
By filing early, your taxes are processed through quicker (which is awesome when you’re receiving a refund). But, you also lessen the likelihood of your tax information somehow being used in a fraudulent situation when you file early.
Tax time doesn’t have to be met with stress, overwhelm or dread. Filing can even be not only accurate, but free when you have the right people at your fingertips. Following these steps will help you have less stress and hopefully some more money in your pocket this tax season.