Tax Day (April 18) is right around the corner. For many of us, organizing documents can be stressful and filing costly. If you are worried about either, keep reading to find assistance and resources.
Reduce Tax-Time Stress
Dealing with personal finances continues to be a leading cause of stress, and during tax season it takes center stage. Here are a few tips to help manage the tax prep process:
Organize your documents now: Deadlines are stressful – and this one is from the IRS. Make sure to have all your documents before you file. The IRS offers steps to make filing easier, including a list of documents you may need.
Break it up: If you’re preparing your taxes yourself, don’t try to tackle it all at once. Instead, divide the job up into manageable chunks.
Know your options: Free tax services are available to help with cost and preparation (see below). If needed, you can also file an extension or set up a payment plan with the IRS. Make sure to file your extension request no later than the regular due date of your return.
Think ahead to next year: Improving your money management skills may be the trick to making tax season less stressful next year. MHealthy has compiled resources to help with understanding financial basics, managing money and debt and more.
Tax Preparation Assistance
If you are worried about the cost of preparing your taxes, resources are available to help:
United Way works to connect southeastern Michigan families with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs through its partners Wayne Metro Community Action Agency and Accounting Aid Society. These programs are now offering free virtual tax preparation for 2023.
The IRS offers free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.
The IRS also offers IRS Free File, which lets you prepare and file your federal income tax online using guided tax preparation, at an IRS partner site or Free File Fillable Forms.
Smart Ways to Use Your Refund
Once you receive your tax refund, your next question might be what to do with it? Most experts recommend first taking care of basic needs like housing, food and utilities. If that’s taken care of, paying off debt is another option.
Don’t need your tax refund for essentials right now? Read this article from CNET outlining six ways to put your tax money to work.