Holy Nobody Reminded Me It Was Tax Season Batman!
Okay, so I worked at H&R Block as a tax professional for 5 years so no one should really have to remind me.
But, you guys know how I like to procrastinate, practice highly intricate avoidance techniques, and shirk my grown-up-like responsibilities whenever humanly possible.
So, you coulda mentioned it.
Y’all don’t want Dumb Mom to go to the pen do you?!
I mean, stripes are in, but not prison stripes.
And neither is being man handled by a handsome woman named Mike.
And neither is carrying a hand made shank in my bra.
And, ohmagosh, Pinterest?! Do they even let inmates get online?
Must. Do. Taxes. Today!
Luckily for me, I’m pretty organized when it comes to tax related documentation.
Unlike pretty much every single other aspect of my life, including the inside of my head, my tax documents are meticulously organized and accounted for.
And easily accessible.
Because I know what being an unorganized tax client can be like.
When I used to do taxes professionally I had these really rich and mangy clients who would come in with boxes, and paper sacks, and plastic bags, old old purses filled with dirty, frayed, rubbed blank receipts for me to go through.
I would scowl.
And then charge them an exorbitant amount of cash to glove up and sort through all of their mostly-useless, unorganized heaps of paper trash records.
I hated the site of those people.
And I’d hate myself if I did that to myself each tax season.
So I have a system (get outta town, Dumb Mom actually does have a system for something?).
And it involves boxes. And folders. And notebooks and stuff.
I’m planning to dive into it this very afternoon/evening/late night, but before I do I’ll hook you up so you can get your taxes done soon too; in case you’re of the procrastinatey-avoiding-shirky sort too!
Dumb Mom’s Guide To Income Tax Organization: 5 Easy Ways to Suck Less So You Can Save Money Better
1. Organization. Organization. Organization. It’s the tax preparer’s mantra. Like real estate people who go on and on about location, being organized is your money pit. That doesn’t mean save everything. It means save everything that matters and keep it in a safe place in an easy-to-manage system. Me? I use labeled manila folders that I keep in my designated filing area in my kitchen. They’re accessible so I don’t have to walk anywhere to add something (we all know I’d never do that), and it’s easy (one folder for each month of the year where I file receipts and other tax-related documents, and another folder each month where I file non-tax-related documents); perfect for the lazy-ish organizer. Then I take those envelopes and I shove them in pretty, inconspicuous boxes that match my home décor. Because having to stare at manila folders all year would be lame.
2. Know what you need. Even if you’re not a trained tax pro like myself, there’s a lot to be said about educating yourself for the process. Let me just tell you, your tax person (even if it’s your mama) doesn’t need every single cell phone bill from 2011 to complete your taxes. They will accept them if you dump them in a pile on their desk, and then they will charge you an arm and a leg to go through them, only to tell you at the end that they didn’t need them in the first place. Save your tax pro time and yourself money and find out what they need in advance. And then make a spreadsheet of the totals and just give them that.
3. Do some research. Are you planning to skip the human helper all together and opt instead for one of these tax prep DIY software thingys? Great! That’s what I use too. But, I don’t necessarily use the same one every time. I look around for ones that offer the best deals (do they include state tax forms? What about free efiling?!), ones that are best suited for my tax situation (I own 2 businesses; I need a BUNCH of forms), and ones that offer knowledgeable human help in case my bottom line says I owe a crap ton of money I run into trouble. And by “knowledgeable human help” I do NOT mean a person sitting at a call center in Bangladesh. I mean a real person, who knows about American taxes, and can take over this process should the need arise.
4. Take your time. Code for, don’t wait until the last minute.
5. Don’t get robbed. There are a number of tax-time identity theft scams that come out during tax season. Crazy, thieving, scammy type people know that tax season is a time when people are vulnerable and more willing to share their personal information both in person and online so the predators are out. I don’t know exactly how identity theft happens, but I can tell you that it’s imperative that you guard your information and make sure that you aren’t releasing it to shifty people in shady situations. Don’t hire a tax preparer on Craigslist. Don’t use your grandma’s boyfriend’s daughter’s baby daddy. And, should your tax man tell you to meet him in an alley behind an Irish pub in Baltimore and bring cash, you probably want to seek other assistance. And call the police.
Have you gotten your taxes done this season?!
Or considered signing up for an identity theft and credit monitoring solution?!
I currently use Identity Guard to protect myself and my children and feel way more secure knowing that, should some creepy dude get my info and try to buy a mail-order bride in my name, they will alert me.
*pBd Admits It’s Free: And also compensated. This series of posts has been sponsored by kIDSure Identity Guard. They provided me with free service and monetary compensation to share information about staying safe online and identity theft protection with you. They did not tell me to share my gay porn story with you. And they did not tell me to help you with your taxes. I did that stuff because I loves ya! And I want you to love me by pinning my awesome posts too!