Save Time Filing Your Taxes
I've got a tax tip that won't save you any money, but it will save you something far more valuable: time. The
Here are three ways to save time filing your taxes:
I love this free service. If you haven't heard of it yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. Mint is an online budgeting site for people who hate budgets. The Mint.com people are magicians. Through sleight of hand, your budget will appear with very little effort on your part. In addition to helping you budget and providing cost-saving offers, the service is brilliant at organizing your financial life. It consolidates all of your savings, investment, credit card and other accounts onto one page.
When it comes time to file your taxes, you can quickly run reports showing your medical expenses, charitable contributions, business expenses, etc. Forget the shoebox, because you'll have all of your data categorized and ready to go.
Mint.com was recently purchased by Intuit, the company that makes Quicken, QuickBooks and the do-it-yourself tax-prep software TurboTax. Although they wouldn't confirm, my guess (and hope) is that you'll be able to export your Mint.com data directly into TurboTax -- thus saving even more time.
2. Tax Organizer
One of the most important
Plan A: Get big box.
Write "Tax Stuff" on big box. Dump everything and anything remotely related to taxes into this box throughout the year. Primitive? Yes, but it actually is effective and saves a ton of time.
Plan B: Get a fancy tax organizer.
Instead of the dump-everything-into-one-box approach, these organizers have different sections for medical receipts, 1099s, charitable donations, etc.
Plan C: Go digital.
Scan all of your documents into PDFs on your computer. You can then use a program such as FileCenter to easily and efficiently organize the files. When it comes time to do your taxes, everything is ready to go.
Hire a CPA to do your taxes. This will undoubtedly save you time, but because you still have to be somewhat organized, I'd still recommend Mint.com and/or a tax organizer. Is it worth the cost? In addition to saving time, a good CPA should also be able to make strategic recommendations that can save you money.
If these time-savings tips are not sufficient, you could always move to
Available at Amazon.com:
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Personal Finance - Save Time Filing Your Taxes
(c) 2010 Robert Pagliarini