6 Tips to Avoid Filing Your Taxes Late
When you’re proactive about filing your taxes on time, you can protect yourself from risky penalties and liens (and a host of other issues). Determined to be on top of your taxes this year? Here are 6 tips to help you avoid filing taxes late.
1. Mark Your Calendar
The deadline to file your 2018 tax return is Monday, April 15, 2019. Add it to your calendars now and set those reminders!
Pro tip: If you are filing online, you have until midnight on April 15. If you are filing by hand, your paperwork must be postmarked by April 15!
2. Collect Your Documents In One Place
Companies and employers send out your W-2, 1099-K, 1099-MISC, and 1095-A forms at the beginning of the year. These documents report your earnings, and copies are also sent to the IRS. Store them together so you don’t have to hunt for them when you file your taxes. Missing some paperwork? Call your clients and/or employers ASAP so they can send you another copy.
3. Start Compiling Your Receipts
If you haven’t been proactively tracking your deductions all year long (psst – you can do this for free with our Stride Tax app), you can still retroactively track down business expenses. Two ways to do this include collecting paper receipts and cross-referencing itemized credit card statements. Check out our procrastinator’s deduction guide for more details.
4. Pick and Prepare for Your Filing Method
There are many ways to file taxes (see our nifty chart below!). Take time to research your options, then be sure to budget, book necessary appointments, and/or buy required software. If you leave this piece to the last minute, it is much easier to fall into the trap of filing taxes late.
5. Educate Yourself
Whichever filing method you choose, you need to be educated about your tax situation. Get to know applicable personal and business deductions, track down necessary tax forms, and read up on new tax reform. Not sure where to get started? Check out our extensive tax content here.
6. Set A Personal Deadline
Whether you need to schedule time to complete taxes yourself or you want to be sure an accountant will be available to assist you, set early deadlines for yourself so you don’t end up filing taxes late. This will help you avoid the last-minute rush to file by April 15 and will give you time to get help if you need it or to handle any unforeseen complications (hello, missing documents and income mistakes on your 1099-MISC!).