As we get close to the filing season for your 2022 taxes, I’ve seen several articles talking about how to make tax filing easier. It got me to thinking about why tax season is so stressful for many people. As a CPA, this is the most stressful time of my year. I often feel like I don’t have control, and I’m at the mercy of everyone else. For many taxpayers, the idea of owing the IRS causes worry and stress, and they feel out of control in the process of filing their tax return. Whether it be waiting on a Form 1099 from their investment company or Form K-1 from a business venture, there are items we just can’t control in this process.
If we can’t control everything, what can we do to make this process simpler?
The most important thing to do with taxes is get professional assistance. Tax laws are complicated and consistently changing, so most people don’t have time to keep up with the laws as they apply to their situation. This will ensure that your return is completed with professional care and will take the worry about whether you filed the return correctly off your shoulders.
When you do have control, the best thing to do is file early. Early filers will accomplish many things that you may not even realize. Some of the benefits are:
- Eliminate the stress of the April 15th deadline!
- Processing times are usually quicker: That means you can probably get your refund sooner.
- Beat the bad guys to the punch: Identity theft is common with tax returns as thieves want to file fraudulent refund claims. If you file early, the IRS won’t let them file these returns using your Social Security Number.
- If you discover you owe taxes, your taxes probably aren’t due until April 15th. This can give you time to come up with the money instead of scrambling at the last minute.
If you can’t file early, a valuable tool is the Automatic 6-Month Extension. This provides you with half a year to figure out your situation and get your return filed correctly. However, the IRS wants their money by April 15th, so this move will still require you to pay in any taxes that might be owed through an Extension Payment. Your tax professional can help you in estimating this payment. Extensions are a common move in tax filing with approximately 10% of filers extending their return, and you don’t need an excuse to get the extension.
While we all are guilty of procrastinating in certain areas of our lives, it usually causes stress by the time we get the deed completed. This year, try making a focused effort to collect your tax information early and file your return without the stress of April 15th. If we can assist you with getting your return filed or even filing an extension to ease your stress, please let us know how our team can help.