If you’re like most people, doing your taxes isn’t your favorite activity.  A TD Ameritrade survey found that 53 percent of taxpayers would rather watch the same movie on repeat than do their taxes.  Another 22 percent said they’d rather sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The good news is you only have to file once a year and if you follow our tips you can keep stress to a minimum.

Start doing your taxes early

Reports have shown that 20-25% of taxpayers wait until April to file. Unless you’re waiting for a specific form to arrive in the mail, there’s really no excuse for filing last-minute.  Many online tax programs like ezTaxReturn.com allow you to get a head start on your return before the IRS opens.  So, you can begin entering your tax documents as you receive them and make the process less tedious. In most cases, you’ll receive your W-2s, 1099s and other tax-related documents by January 31st.

Stay on top of tax law changes

Tax laws are constantly changing so you need to be aware of what’s new and how it will affect you.  Before you prepare your return, spend some time on the IRS website getting up to speed.  Research what credits and deductions are available along with the qualifications, so you don’t miss opportunities to save.  Another great way to stay up-to-date on the latest tax news is to subscribe to ezTaxReturn’s mailing list.  Join now and every month you’ll get money-saving tax tips delivered to your inbox.

Get organized

Going through piles of receipts trying to determine what’s junk and what’s not can be overwhelming.  Instead of saving this task for the last-minute, organize your receipts as you get them.  Spend a few bucks on an expanding file folder and sort your receipts by category.  For example, you can have a section for your medical and dental expenses, charitable contributions, childcare, etc. If you’re not 100% sure what you’ll need, we suggest checking the tax prep checklist on ezTaxReturn.com’s blog to get ready.

Use tax software to prepare your return

Why make life harder than it has to be?  Using tax software to do your taxes is easier and more accurate than preparing them by hand.  Most programs use a question and answer format to guide you through each section of your return.  They also handle all the calculations which speed up the process tremendously.  According to the IRS, the average taxpayer spends 13 hours preparing their tax return.  However, you can cut that down to a mere 30 minutes when you use ezTaxReturn.com.

E-file

Many people rely on their tax refund to catch up on bills or pad their savings.  No matter what you have planned for the money, chances are you want your cash as quickly as possible.  The fastest way to get your refund is to e-file and choose direct deposit.  Preparing your return by hand means it won’t be processed by IRS for almost two months and delays your refund by at least that long. Preparing by hand also means more calculation and other errors. When you e-file with ezTaxReturn.com, your calculations are guaranteed accurate and you know whether your return has been accepted within 24 hours. If there’s a problem with your return’s acceptance, you’ll be told what’s wrong and how to correct it usually within 24 hours.