Three steps to end tax-filing procrastination
Ah, time travel. Procrastinating do-it-yourselfers who have yet to file their tax returns might daydream about time travel as the April 18 deadline draws nearer. Some want to go back to mid-March and file their return with a month to go before the deadline. Others might dream about jumping ahead to the future – maybe to April 19 – with the wish that their taxes magically were filed for them by April 18. While magic isn’t an option and neither are time machines, these are three easy steps for DIY tax procrastinators to follow to file by the tax deadline: get tax documents organized, get online and get started.
Step one: get tax documents organized
The paper chase of finding the tax documents – financial documents and related information – needed to file a tax return should be done before sitting down to start the preparation process. Making a customized tax preparation checklist can help.
The best place to get started is with previous-year tax returns. Taxpayers can import their old returns from virtually any preparer using H&R Block’s “drag and drop” feature. Previous-year returns are also very important for finding adjusted gross income for tax year 2015, which the IRS requires to file the 2016 tax year return.
Step two: get online
No matter how complex a taxpayer may find their tax situation, H&R Block’s DIY tax interview process, based on 60-plus years of preparing returns, will guide them through preparing and filing an accurate tax return. Whether taxpayers choose to file with software (downloadable from the website) or an online product, they receive H&R Block’s maximum refund, 100-percent accuracy and 100-percent satisfaction guarantees.
Step three: get started
Just dive in! Worried about getting stuck? Unlimited live tax advice via chat is included with all software products and the online deluxe and premium editions. Chat is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. For those who would like to have their return reviewed by a tax professional before it is submitted to the IRS, there’s H&R Block Best of Both. When choosing Best of Both, be sure to allow for an extra three to four days that could be added to the filing process – don’t wait until the very last minute.
Even though some procrastinators feel like they’ve arrived at the intersection of Panic Parkway and The-Clock-is-Ticking Avenue, they are just three steps away from filing an accurate return before the deadline.
By Teresa L. Clark
Teresa L. Clark came to H&R Block in January 2010 after working as a civil servant for more than 13 years. Since that first tax season she has written blog posts and talking points, edited content of all shapes and sizes, facilitated media interviews for the experts in The Tax Institute at H&R Block and supported the DIY team. Clark has a master's degree in integrated marketing communications from the University of Kansas and is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.