There’s no way around it: tax season can be scary. The U.S. tax code, while not the 70,000 pages some claim, still clocks in at more than 2,500 pages, i.e. twice as long as “War and Peace.” How can any normal person be expected to wade into something that complex and not find themselves missing something? And, worst of all, the ever-present threat of the dreaded IRS audit hangs over us all like the Sword of Damocles. All in all, it’s hard to understand how anyone can enter tax season feeling anything other than terror.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of ways that you can attack your tax return that will make the entire process less scary and much more manageable. With just a little research and a few handy tips, you can tackle your tax return confidently and competently, putting the age-old tax terror firmly in your review mirror.
Here are five quick tips to taking the fear out of tax season:
1. Don’t Let Audit Fear Paralyze You – They’re extremely rare and most are relatively painless.
2. Make a Checklist – Everything is more manageable when it’s all laid out before you.
3. Pass Along Documents Right Away – Don’t risk losing something; give your tax documents to your accountant as soon as they arrive.
4. Start Early – Give yourself time to account for potential roadblocks or, better yet, get it all out of the way as soon as possible.
5. Save Up – Having the savings to cover any nasty surprises on your return will help ease your fears.
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