As a CPA, I’ve received comments from friends and acquaintances asking how I could have possibly chosen a career where I’d spend all of my time dealing with one of their least favorite endeavors – TAXES. While I am a corporate tax advisor and I am no expert on individual taxation, I do enjoy doing my own individual taxes. But if you are like most people who are just excited to put tax season behind you, here are 3 ways you can start easing the burden of tax season and learn to enjoy it!
#1-Do it yourself
Doing your own taxes can be advantageous for various reasons which I’ll share below:
- Gain control of the timing of your return – It is no surprise tax season is a busy time for us tax advisors. So if you are eager to find out the status of your return or whether you’ll be expecting a refund, relying on a busy tax professional might just add to the stress that comes during this time of year. Instead, you can choose to resolve these questions on your own terms and at your own pace.
- Gain control of your finances – by doing your own taxes you can have greater visibility into how your actions affect your tax footprint. This way you can strategize, plan ahead, and make the necessary adjustments to be able to maximize your deductions. In addition, you’ll end up acquiring knowledge and skills that will help you discover how financially self-reliant, confident and empowered you can become.
- Save money – Hiring a tax professional can be costly, so why not save money by doing this yourself.
Since part of what makes tax season so dreary tends to be the high compliance fees, the feelings of not being in control of the timing of your return/refund and of your own financial situation, doing your own taxes can help you make the burden more manageable. But what if you have little to no tax knowledge? Well, that was me a few years back and fortunately I was able to rely on an effective tax software.
#2-Choose a tax software that is right for you
Since the time I was a college student with no tax knowledge and a very simple return filing, up until now with tax returns that have gotten more complex, I’ve relied on the same tax software – TurboTax. Here are some reasons why TurboTax has worked for me over the years.
- TurboTax is incredibly user friendly making it easy for anyone to navigate. The process is as easy as answering very simple questions, inputting or even snapping a photo of your W-2 with your smartphone while TurboTax does the computations and fills out the tax forms for you. And if you were to get stuck on any question, you can connect live with a TurboTax expert.
- Knowing first-hand how complex the tax law is, I enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing TurboTax performs thorough reviews, is up-to-date and can handle intricate tax scenarios. For example, if you’ve made a business out of blogging, the self-employed edition of TurboTax can take care of your tax situation and help you identify the deductions available to you.
- You have the ability to file your tax return electronically and get your tax refund quickly.
#3-Give your tax refund money a wise financial purpose
If you are expecting a refund, think ahead before making impulsive and unnecessary purchases. Give your money a purpose and enjoy as you see your debts reduced, bills paid and/or wealth increased this tax season!
Tell us! What's your experience filing your own taxes?