- Days left

How to Organize and File Your Taxes Over a Weekend

×
Details of a United States Tax Form.
Alamy
All you need to do your taxes is a little bit of time over one weekend to gather what you need, get organized and file your return.

Friday Evening: Collect the Documentation

On Friday evening, devote an hour or two to collect the necessary documents. If your documents are scattered, use a checklist to make sure you grab all the important stuff. Here's what most people will need:
  • Last year's tax return.
  • The Social Security number -- or tax ID number, if applicable -- and birthdate for you and everyone in your household.
  • Income information for employees: W2s.
  • Income information for self-employed individuals: W9s, 1099s and Schedule K-1s. Report all income, even if you did not receive a 1099 from a client.
  • Income information from investments: 1099s reflecting interest earned, dividends, retirement funds and son on.
  • Proof of income adjustments: 1098s.
  • Receipts: If you are itemizing, they should be added for health expenses, donations and other key categories.
Tip for next tax season: If you had to run around to find these forms and documents or you had to dig through a box of old receipts, now is a good time to create better habits to make tax time less stressful next year. For instance, you can upload your receipts and paper clutter to a cloud-based, accessible-from-anywhere storage system with Shoeboxed.

Saturday: Use Software or Take Everything to a Preparer

On Saturday, you are ready to fire up tax software or bring your information in to a tax preparer. Which you choose is a matter of personal preference and how complicated your tax situation is.

If you do your taxes with the help of a tax software, double- and triple-check all the information you entered.
The software will do the math, but it can't tell you if you have typos.

The added cost of a tax professional may be worth it if you have your own small business, unique tax situation or simply don't feel comfortable handling this information on your own. It's OK to ask for help.

Tip for this season: If you make less than $52,000, you could qualify for free tax help at a Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Program near you.

Sunday: Make One Last Check

Sunday is time to think about your taxes. Take an hour to carefully review your return and check for errors. If a mistake was made, don't panic. Don't cross your fingers and hope the Internal Revenue Service won't notice, either. Erroneous reporting can trigger an audit, which is stressful for most taxpayers. Instead, take pre-emptive action and file a 1040X form to point out the mistake. This will help you avoid penalties, since you reported the error.

Tax season isn't fun, but this plan will make it go more smoothly. And if you invest extra time, you'll set yourself up for a less stressful and faster experience next year.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Building Credit from Scratch

Start building credit...now.

View Course »

How much house can I afford

Home buying 101, evaluating one of your most important financial decisions.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Employer Sponsored Health Coverage Explained

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is simpler than some people may give it credit for. The basic rule to remember is that everyone must carry Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) or pay a penalty. Employers with 50 full-time employees or more are obligated to sponsor plans for their workers to help them meet this requirement.

How to Report RSUs or Stock Grants on Your Tax Return

Restricted stock units (RSUs) and stock grants are often used by companies to reward their employees with an investment in the company rather than with cash. As the name implies, RSUs have rules as to when they can be sold. Stock grants often carry restrictions as well. How your stock grant is delivered to you, and whether or not it is vested, are the key factors when determining tax treatment.

What is a Schedule Q Form?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has two very different forms that go by the name Schedule Q. One of them is for people who participate in certain real estate investments; this is known as a Form 1066 Schedule Q. The other Schedule Q deals with employer benefit plans. It?s not something an individual taxpayer would normally have to deal with, though a small business owner might need it.

Incentive Stock Options

Some employers use Incentive Stock Options (ISOs) as a way to attract and retain employees. While ISOs can offer a valuable opportunity to participate in your company's growth and profits, there are tax implications you should be aware of. We'll help you understand ISOs and fill you in on important timetables that affect your tax liability, so you can optimize the value of your ISOs.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum