While taxes have become easier thanks to personal tax software, the truth still remains that they aren't very fun.
For many people, it's not just about April 15th. For example, maybe you own a business or make extra money on the side in which case you have to pay estimated taxes. Or, maybe you owe property taxes at the end of the year.
It's also not just about a refund. Just because you may have taxes taken out of your check doesn't mean you still won't owe Uncle Sam some money.
The point is that tax planning is actually a year long endeavor. By taking these tips into consideration you'll be able to make taxes less stressful.
Have a Savings Account Specifically for Taxes
If you know you're going to owe taxes set aside the money in a separate savings account. There are plenty of online savings accounts you can use specifically for this purpose. This way it's not a surprise when that property tax bill comes in the mail or estimated tax deadlines approach.
For instance, let's say you're self-employed. You already know that the self-employment tax is about 15 percent. You also already know you have to pay quarterly taxes.
So rather than being shocked come April 15th at how high your bill is, set aside 15% of each check you get as you go along. Even if you end up saving too much because of deductions it's still better to be safe than sorry.
Mark Tax Due Dates on Your Calendar
As I previously mentioned, for many tax payers taxes aren't just about April 15th. In fact, there are many scenarios where you may owe taxes at some other time throughout the year.
You can easily go the IRS website and look up tax deadlines throughout the year. Once you've figured out which ones apply to you make sure to mark them on your calendar.
Consider Getting an Accountant
Paying taxes and annual tax planning are two different things. Paying taxes is self-explanatory. Tax planning is strategizing and making a plan to see how much or how little you have pay.
Software can help with the former, but tax planning may require the help of a professional - especially if you have assets and investments.
While not everyone needs an accountant, some people do. For instance, business owners are probably better off with an accountant because their tax situation is more complicated than that of a W-2 employee.
However, don't make the mistake of thinking only business owners should have accountants. The truth is that tax law is constantly changing, and while software does it's best to stay on top of the game, it's never going to be perfect.
As such it wouldn't be a bad idea for some people to get themselves an accountant to help not just with their annual tax return, but with any other tax situations that may come up during the year.