Whether it’s your first time filing a tax return or a yearly chore for you, it’s a sign that you’ve grown out of your childhood shell and into adulthood. It’s an annual job that has to be done for many years to come, so it’s important to get acquainted with the process so you’ll get it done faster and more smoothly in the future.

Picking a preparer

A preparer will help ease the process of filing a tax return. You can choose to hire someone by asking friends and colleagues or by looking up on the internet or in a local directory. Make sure that the individual has a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) so that you know they are authorised to prepare your tax return. Make sure you ask about any fees and costs. Most of the time, you can expect to pay more if you have complex tax returns to manage such as a multi-state business.

Alternatively, you can also use software to manage your tax returns. Though it might be expensive to pay for tax preparation software, you can find deals like a turbotax coupon 2017 to ease the costs and make it more manageable. It’s simple to use software to prepare your own taxes, but you still need to prepare most of the information yourself and keep a good record of all your income and expenses.

If you do decide to pick a human preparer, then ensure that you have enough appointments and meetings planned to discuss all of your needs. Share your financial books and any relevant information with them, and let them know about your business or job so they have a better understanding of your situation and know the right way to handle your tax return. A meeting is a good time to discuss how much your tax preparer expects to receive for his or her service, including any additional or hidden fees that may have been forgotten during the initial chat.

Get your papers together

You need to gather all of your financial records, pay slips and other records of income. Keep in mind that if you run a business, it’s a good idea to have a financial advisor or staff member that keeps track of these records for you. You also need to print off any invoices, statements and receipts whether they are expenses or not. It’s important that every bit of money that has come and gone through your pockets is recorded with a paper trail so that you won’t be fined for trying to evade taxes.

If you find it difficult to procure all the documents, then it might help to have a personal assistant to sort your papers out and manage your finances. Alternatively, you can make changes to how you sort out your papers to that you don’t run into the same issue in the future. Make sure that you keep a record of all the letters you receive, print off relevant emails and store them in a large folder or binder for next year’s tax returns.