Tips for Tax Procrastinators: Baby steps


For some taxpayers, the process of assembling their tax documents and preparing the taxes (or taking them to a tax professional) is extremely painful. They can barely even stand to think about the whole painful process.

When you're in pain over getting your tax papers together, take baby steps. You don't have to spend hours sitting around and agonizing over your taxes. Do it a little bit at a time. Gather a few documents, sort through them, and then quit for the day. This method won't work for everyone. Some people want to just spend a few hours on their taxes and get everything done. That's okay too... the key is just getting it done.

A checklist can be helpful when you're in agony over the tax process. It's much easier to gather the right documents if you have a list to follow. You can see how much progress you've made while you also make sure you're not missing anything important.

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Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.