Tips for a Smooth Tax Season

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Though Tax Day happens every year, it still seems to take many Americans by surprise. This year, don’t miss the deadline or let this crucial to-do loom large over your head.

To have a smooth tax season, consider the following:

• Getting Started Early: If you can, get a head start on your taxes. Filing early is a good tactic for anyone, but particularly those with evolving or complex financial circumstances Not only will doing so help you prevent the anxiety that comes with procrastination, you’ll receive your refund early — if you’re due one — or give yourself time to prepare to pay any owed taxes.

• Relying on Old Tricks: When it comes to tax preparation, sometimes, using old-school methods is the best way to go. Whether you are just getting started on crunching those numbers or you’re finalizing all the information, a printing calculator like Casio’s HR-170RC includes features that can aid in tax preparation and submission. This model also has some newer tools, like a built-in tax feature that lets you store a frequently-used rate and pull it up at-will, slicing your calculation times by an impressive margin. Other functions include: a reprint key, a check function to scroll up to 150 steps of previous calculations, a grand total function for quick correction of mis-entries, currency exchange calculations and cost/sell/margin calculations.

• Doing Research: The list of what is tax deductible is more extensive than you might realize, so do your research. Keeping good records throughout the year of your expenditures can help you take advantage of these opportunities.

• Having a Refund Plan: Don’t just let your checking account absorb your tax refund only to spend it on an impulse buy. Whether you invest the money in your retirement, sock it safely away for a rainy day or put it towards the purchase of a big-ticket item, such as the down payment of a house, having a plan for your tax refund can help you make the most of the money.

This year, have a fuss-free tax season. With a little planning, you can file your taxes efficiently, without headache and at the greatest benefit to your finances.