This time of year, I start keeping my eyes open for available tax forms in the mail, or notifications of availability by email. For those that arrive on physical paper, I have a file labeled 2013 Taxes (original I know). I also have a folder on my laptop with the same label, where I download donation receipts and tax forms. Both of these files were likely started sometime in 2013. Ideally, I should have started it right at the beginning of the year. It just doesn't always happen. In fact, I don't yet have a 2014 file.
I will admit I am a little partial to my physical folder. I usually write on the inside of the file folder a checklist of documents needed for filing. Once I have all of them in hand, I know I can start our taxes without much delay. My list this year includes the following:
- My husband's W2
- 1099 - INT from all banks we earn interest from
- 1099 - R (for a rollover of IRA money...will not be taxable)
- 1098 from mortgage company with interest and real estate taxes paid
- Donation receipts
- Vehicle property tax amount
My intention is to file online, as I have been doing for many years now. It makes it so easy...at least if the software is set up correctly. I've had at least two years where I have had to switch companies before filing because their software didn't do the calculations correctly. That sure doesn't give me faith to try them again in the future. I hope to have our return completed by the end of the week, as I am expecting I will have all the documents I need at that point. If we owe, I will not be too quick to send in our money early!
Do you have a system in place for getting your taxes ready for filing? Do you file your own taxes? Anyone still file by snail mail? Come back tomorrow, and I'll write up a few tips for finding low cost or free tax filing software.