Five Steps to Taxes made Simple

It is Tax season! I love these 5 steps to taxes made simple! Anyone can do it!

I am sure you have started seeing the dancing signs on the street reminding you that it is tax season. They are right, 2015 has begun and the April 15th deadline is quickly approaching. I remember as a kid having my dad do my taxes for me – it seemed like something only grow-ups could handle. When I was going off to college, he encouraged me to take over for myself. He walked me through TurboTax and empowered me to do my own grown up work of taxes!

I have had my fair share of complicated taxes – 3, 4, 5 jobs to file for, a marriage, a new home, and a husband who works from home. When I started blogging, I had NO idea that it could become and extra income for me. Two years ago I made the first drop of money ever on my blog and I began googling like crazy to figure out how to include my blogging into my taxes. Last year I shared with you a post called Blog Taxes: How, What, Whyย as I processed my own taxes that year. I recommend checking it out if you are a blogger and a bit overwhelmed with figuring out taxes this year. Today I want to share with you five steps to taxes made simple. It is actually easy, simple, free, and intuitive! Be empowered to mix all your complicated and confidently file your taxes this year.

 

KEEP RECORDS

As a blogger, I keep a google document with all my blog income and expenses. I write everything down right away so that I know how much money my blog made and spent the past year. This document is something I set up at the beginning of every year and fill in as things come up.
For my other job and my husband’s job, we make sure to save everything that comes in the mail in a “Taxes” file box. We drop in all our giving statements, student loan information, W-2s, 1099s, insurance information, important receipts, and investment interest statements. Make sure that you keep everything so you are not scrounging around later.

 

KNOW DATES

Taxes are due April 15th. Do not wait until the night of the 14th to start your taxes. You can start them now if you have all your documents ready. I highly encourage you to do your taxes sooner rather than later. Watch for your W-2s & 1099s coming in the mail. If you are missing one and have everything else, contact the organization you are waiting for to make sure your statement didn’t get lost.

 

GATHER INFORMATION

If you rock step 1 & 2 this one should be simple. Get all your documents ready to start going through. It is so nice if you have everything next to you and you do not need to keep getting up and wandering the house to find that one W-2 in the mail pile – somewhere. Place everything in arms reach, grab a cup of hot tea (or your choice of beverage), and get to work!

 

FILE WITH TURBOTAX

You have no need to hire an accountant when you have the TurboTax team on your side! This is my favorite step because you don’t need to do your taxes all alone.ย TurboTax is a wonderful program (if you don’t yet already know) that empowers you to confidently file your taxes on your own, no matter what kind of “complicated” you have.

This year TurboTax is better than ever — so you can easily prepare your own taxes with confidence. They want to ensure you never pay extra to comply with new health care laws or to claim your Earned Income Credit. Plus, if you’re one of the over 60 million Americans with a straightforward tax return and you file early to get your refund as quickly as possible, you can now get your 1040EZ/A federal and state taxes done absolutely free! They are calling it the Absolute Zero promotion and they are the only tax organization doing anything like it! We always use the Deluxe plan for our taxes every year because of everything we need to file, but they help you figure out exactly what you need!

RELAX


YAY! You did it. You filed your taxes. I know the hard part is waiting to see if you still owe or if you get a refund. One of the great parts about filing early is that you don’t have to wait in the suspense and have time to save if you still owe. Enjoy not waiting to the last possible moment to file and drink a glass of wine.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.ย 
xoxo, elizabeth

Author: Oak & Oats

  • Great tips! Not going to lie, my Dad is still walking me through how to do my taxes…even with the 1040EZ form LOL. Two years ago I began a job as an independent contractor for just three months of the year and somehow thought that since I was a student and didn't make much money from the job at all, that I was somehow exempt from paying taxes! I've since learned that lesson the hard way…

  • This is a great post! I used to be TERRIFIED of taxes, but now it's such a breeze. I do mine the same day I receive my W2. It's such a relief to just get it over and done with!

  • I LOVE doing taxes. My taxes. My mom's taxes. Everyone's taxes!!! (I'm weird…) ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I tend to get stressed every year at this time..haha but we are getting better (though this will be our first year filing from two different states). My husband is a freelancer so we actually send our taxes quarterly but file them with our CPA. We've chosen to spend the money because we get business advice during our meeting with them!

  • Great tips! Tracking all of my incomes and expenses in GoogleDocs is a life saver for me!

  • I seriously wish they would've taught us how to file taxes in high school, because as a college freshman now I still have ZERO clue what I'm doing. This was definitely helpful for me to get the gist of things! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I know! I think the idea of taxes is a lot worse than the actual thing. TurboTax is wonderfully helpful because they walk you step by step and have support to help you answer any question that may come up! I have only used them for taxes!

  • Woohoo for TurboTax! Their program this year is GREAT! And so so simple…I love how it walks you through EVERYTHING.

  • I know! That seriously is the best part!

  • ME too. I have to do it!

  • lol! My husband does most of it, but I make sure all my stuff is in order and we walk through it together!

  • Oh nice! Than you have no reason to stress at all!

  • I love that! Own it!

  • That is great! I am so proud of you to already be done!

  • Oh man! Don't worry. My dad was my go to until I got married. And we still sometimes call our parents to make sure we are doing things right ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I get my stuff together, but that's about it.

  • Morgan

    Nice to know these valuable steps.By applying these steps, Tax paying becomes simple and easy.I like it so much.Good work done on this blog,its very interesting.However if you want to check more about finance and accounts so side a look on tanner mainstain.

  • Great tips! I was wondering, when you fill out your expenses spreadsheet, do you also keep the receipts of the purchases?

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! Majority of my receipts are online (because I am an online shopper running an online business) so I keep a file in my email with all receipts though the year. I move them after I record them so I know I don’t miss anything. I also have an envelope on my desk with any physical copies. I like being organized and prepared just in case I get audited. The online receipts take up no space and the other ones are not that bad – I usually wait a year after tax season to get rid of them ๐Ÿ™‚