less taxing tax seasonTax season is officially here, but that doesn’t mean you have to panic. While no one enjoys doing their taxes, checking these items off your list before sitting down to complete your form will make the whole experience less daunting and more manageable. After all, the sooner you get your taxes submitted, the sooner you can stop worrying about them!

1. Go digital

You don’t want to have to pay a bookkeeper to sort through your piles of paper, nor do you want to be stuck without copies of your important documents in the case of an audit. Digital versions of your documents are much easier to manage than paper ones, so this tax season use either a receipt scanner or a service like Shoeboxed to digitize your records. Of course it’ll be much easier if you’ve kept digital records throughout the year, but now is as good a time as any to move away from paper and into the 21st century. The IRS has accepted digital documents since 1997, so it’s about time to go paperless and make your life easier (and your office less cluttered)!

2. Learn the law

Although your accountant is a great resource for getting your taxes done (and done right), if they miss something or make a mistake, the penalty falls on you, not your accountant. Take it upon yourself to check out online resources and learn the laws yourself, including which form(s) you need to use. www.SBA.gov and www.irs.gov/Businesses are great places to start.

3. Don’t miss deductions

One of the most important tax tasks for most individuals and small business owners is making sure they’re maximizing their deductions. No one wants to pay more taxes than they have to, right? This tax season, take the time to go through your deductions one by one so that you don’t miss an opportunity.

If you’re self employed, check out 12 self employed tax deductions you’re not using but should be. If you’re a small business owner, download our free white paper, “Five Proven Methods to Reduce Small Business Taxes,” and make sure you use all five tactics to save as much money as possible. Listing your deductions beforehand will not only reduce the chance that you’ll miss one, but it will also make you feel more prepared when you go to fill out the dreaded form.

Taxes are no fun, but being done with your taxes for the year is! What steps do you take before the tax deadline to make sure you’re prepared?