2020 was a particularly stressful year — but filing its taxes doesn’t need to be. With the following tips, you can stay organized and cool-headed throughout the process.
File early so you check this major to-do off your list and relax. The good news is that the sooner you file, the better. This is true no matter what your circumstances are. If you owe money, you’ll have that much more time to plan your payment. If you’re due for a refund, filing sooner means you’ll have your money sooner, money which can be used to pay bills, be invested or be added to a rainy day fund. To that end, take some time to glance at your overall financial picture so you can make a smart game plan for directing your refund usefully.
Check Your Work
A multi-functional printing calculator with a 12-digit display can help you check your work and track and manage any necessary calculations, while ensuring your figures aren’t truncated. Look for a model that prints in two colors, such as Casio’s HR-170RC, so you can quickly see both positive and negative numbers to avoid reading errors. If you have any international holdings, this is a must-have tax season tool, as its functions include currency exchange. This model also has a built-in tax feature that lets you store a frequently-used rate and pull it up when needed, as well as a check function that allows you to scroll up to 150 steps of previous calculations.
Your financials and personal data are especially vulnerable during tax season. Be sure to keep all the paperwork associated with your taxes organized securely. As forms arrive by mail, file them neatly in one place that’s locked and secure. Sensitive information can easily be misused if it falls into the wrong hands. If you’re storing information electronically, be sure to use strong passwords and work only on a secure network.
By giving yourself the right tools and plenty of time, you can better ensure timely, accurate tax preparation.