Tax season is here and most of us are stressing out and trying to get our act together before the April 18 deadline.
Individuals and small businesses like you have found their way to productivity by eliminating paperwork in their day-to-day transactions and quite often, we hear from them about how they tackle the tax season and paperwork woes.
The insights we have gathered from them are simple and effective, with staying paperless and well-organized being the regular takeaway. We went ahead to compile a list of a few such tips which can come in handy as we enter the “oh-I-still-need-to-finish-filing” phase of the tax season (we know you already have a lot of lists to deal with this tax season, so we promise to keep this short).
1. Let D-Day stay on top of your mind
In the rush of work, it’s easy to lose track of time and days. One fine morning when you wake up, all that you are left with are few more days ’till you hit the deadline. To save yourself from the hopeless scramble that ensues, start early.
Make a list of what needs to be done (however small the activity is) and span it across the limited time that you have at hand. Once you have charted this out, the only thing you need to do is to stick to it and not procrastinate.
2. Compile all the required documents
One of the biggest reasons for stress during tax time is not finding your relevant documents in time and sometimes even forgetting to take them into account. To avoid this, the first step of your list needs to be putting together all of the documents.
Look for all of those receipts, investment documents and other records you need for tax filing and consolidate them in one central location. If you are not able to do this in one go, spread this activity across few days and a weekend. Starting off slow when you have enough time is better than doing things in a jiffy right when you wake up to the deadline.
3. Start the e-filing process!
In case you have been filing taxes on your own, after step 2 you are all set to start your e-filing process. And if not, get in touch with a tax preparer to sail through the tax filing process.
The latest guidelines issued by IRS has brought Form 8878 and Form 8879 (Electronic Return Originator authorization forms for individual taxpayers) under the scope of electronic signatures. For the uninitiated, Form 8879 is an IRS e-file signature authorization form that authorizes an ERO to enter the taxpayers’ PINs on individual income tax returns. Form 8878 is an IRS e-file authorization form for application of extension of time to file taxes, that authorizes an ERO to enter the taxpayers’ PINs on Forms 4868 and 2350.
Before, when going by the ERO method, taxpayers had to physically sign these authorization forms either in the ERO’s office or sign the physical copy and send it via mail or fax. But with the recent e-signature guidance, you can now authorize your EROs even remotely by choosing to electronically sign your authorization documents and simply e-mailing them to their tax preparer. (Yes, this method is IRS compliant.)
This not only makes e-filing process hassle-free, quick, and smooth, but it also saves a bit of your money too, which you would otherwise end up spending getting your authorization forms mailed to the ERO.
Using SignEasy to help with e-filing:
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Amrita Premrajan is Content Strategist and Marketer at SignEasy. Featured by Google, Apple and loved by 3.5 million users, SignEasy is a cloud-based solution to sign and fill documents from smartphones, tablets and web. SignEasy helps individuals and businesses reduce turnaround times, close deals faster and cut costs by eliminating the cycle of printing, scanning and faxing of paperwork.