The Taxman Cometh
Do you have a stack of forms sitting on your counter that you’re dreading sorting through? If so, you might have FOTM, or Fear of the Tax Man. It can often hit around February or March, and is incredibly common. One way of dealing with FOTM is by getting your finances ready so that when it comes time to file, you feel a little better.
Here are our tips and to-dos to help you prepare.
Start Early (If You Can)
Ideally, you’ve already started this process, but if you’re reading this and haven’t started pulling your tax information together, don’t panic.
- Keep it together: Make sure you keep all the tax documents you receive together so they’re easy to find and reference when it’s time to file. If you are getting help preparing your taxes, this will also make the process much smoother. If you have a business, make sure you keep those expenses separate.
- Review your filing status: Your filing status can affect how much you owe in taxes each year, and whether or not you have to file at all. If you’re unsure about your filing status, the IRS has a tool for helping you figure it out.
- Look back at last year’s return: Think about what areas (if any) were frustrating or caused you trouble. Prepare ahead of time this year for how you might make it easier for yourself.
- Deduce your deductibles: Track your charitable donations, childcare expenses, any home improvements you made, and any other deductibles you may have. You can use our mobile or online banking to help track these.
- Get it done. Whether you file on your own or use a tax preparer, make sure you get everything in by July 15 or file an extension!
- Check out the IRS tips page for links and articles that may further help and guide you.
Remember, FOTM is real, but if you’re prepared, you can alleviate the fear.
Please note, First Bank does not offer direct tax advice. We recommend you speak to a professional if you have any questions about preparing your personal or business tax forms.