April 10, 2011

{G.Y.M.U} Hair done, nails done, TAXES done too!

Perhaps it dawned on you yesterday, when the weather finally turned warm, that Spring had sprung and you began to "spring clean" as so many of us do!! A few weeks back, I cleared out my closet, rearranged my bedroom furniture and even got a fresh mani/pedi to royally welcome the season. However, with setting your clock ahead an hour, listening to the birds sing to each other on the rooftop and awakening to the glistening sun peering through your window, comes reporting to the government how much money you made last year! So, my question to you dear reader, have you done your taxes yet??


As of today, you officially have 8 days to file your taxes! Yes, the year has snuck by and already the government is asking for you to share the low down of your income.! This year, you got lucky; taxes aren't due until April 18th! An extension of previous years when April 15 has been the deadline. Smile, you get three extra days to file your tax return! Yes, the weekends count - I filed mine Saturday and received an e-mail stating they'd accepted my info 6 hours later! Direct deposit in 8 days!

To be quite honest, you have no excuse as to why you wouldn't file them on time!! We live in the age of technology where every document has been scanned, adobe-ized and accessible via the world wide web! Its like not brushing you teeth in the morning, its something that just has to be done! And unless you live in Bedrock or under the bed/rock, your only excuse is procrastination! Whether you decide to visit a tax preparer, purchase the software or do them yourself, the process only becomes difficult with more zeros and responsibilities! Mo' money, mo' problems!

Start filing your taxes NOW!!!

{Not sure which form to use, ask Uncle Sam}

First, you want to begin by collecting all documents that report income. If you work a 9 to 5, your initial document will be a W2. This document reflects your taxable income you earned in a given year from an employer. Some sources of income include a 1098 (interest paid on loans), rental properties, child support, working in the military, owning a business, reaping the benefits of an estate or trust fund, real estate, public assistance, federal grants and scholarships. The more sources of income the more challenging filing your taxes will be.

Secondly, decide on your method of filing. Considering technology is our friend, try filing online prior to going to a tax preparer or purchasing the software. This method allows you to try out the process and even provides insight on which route is best for you. Additionally, depending on your tax situation, it might be FREE! If your taxes appear to be a bit more complicated, the online service will prompt you to upgrade, but then again you may want a professional to file on your behalf. However, be aware that tax preparers take a percentage of the return which may or may not be more than what it would have cost to upgrade. ***In addition to filing federal taxes, depending on the state in which you reside, you may also have to pay state tax. This is a separate process from federal reporting.

If you complete your taxes with a tax preparer or solo-dolo with a form and pen, your Jane Hancock is all that is needed to confirm the information you are reporting is true and valid. But, if you decide to file electronically, you will need to retrieve an electronic signature code by calling 18667047388. Due to it being an automated service, it quick, efficient, and straight to the point! All you need to know is your birthday, social security number and your 2009 status (married/single, etc.).

The positives of e-filing or having a professional prepare your taxes include automatic checks for mistakes! The online process ask you a series of questions, which, unbeknownst to you, ensure the information you have provided is correct. If not, it will inform you of the mistakes when it does an analysis of your information. Likewise, a tax preparer has the experience to know what information may bring upon an audit from the government, therefore, protecting you from mistakes.

Something else to consider if you're not quite ready. Perhaps you moved at the turn of the year and your W2 was sent else where and you don't have the information essential to reporting to the government, file for an extension! This will give you an additional 6 months to get your hands on the paperwork. But don't think you have 6 months to pay up, the government still wants their money on the 18th! Simply overestimate on the amount you owe when completing the paperwork, its easier to be Wright than to be wrong!

With love to last a lifetime,

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