For those who are perhaps filing taxes for the first time (or those who have never gotten a tight grasp on how exactly the process is done) tax season can be a devastatingly stressful period of time with much floundering and uncertainty. For those people, there is good news: there is still hope! Following a few simple steps can, against all odds, help to simplify tax preparation and make the entire process a simpler and less stressful annual event.

Time Management

Particularly for those just setting out on their own, time management can be an issue. Procrastination is a terrible habit that the majority of the human population seems to exhibit in one way or another. However, when this seeps into tax preparation there can be consequences. Rushed forms can result in mistakes that cause a form to receive reduced returns or to be rejected entirely, which has the potential to result in late fees for the one who filled it out as well as a required do-over. The best way to avoid these issues is to gather your documentation well ahead of time and schedule a solid, uninterrupted block of time to devote to doing your taxes.


Organization is another quality which is challenging for many individuals to maintain – especially when the project in question requires a whole year’s worth of information to be stored and recalled precisely. However, by implementing an organized method of storing pertinent information, tax preparation can be loads easier for anyone. Keeping important documents together in an easily accessible space can reduce the time spent scrambling for papers at the last minute. If they are organized, they can be perused as needed throughout the process, leading to reduce stressed levels and less wasted energy than the traditional; method of searching through the home in a hurry.


The first step to understanding how a problem should be handled is doing a little research. When it comes to tax preparation, there is no better way to do this than to peruse the IRS information available to everyone. IRS Publication 17, aptly titled “Your Federal Income Tax” can help to illuminate the tax world to those in the dark. This document can be found for free online in most cases, and sheds some light on who should file taxes, which forms should be used, what documentation will be needed by various forms, information on returns and various processes and much more.

Tax season can be stressful if it is allowed to be. Make filing taxes easier on yourself by showing some initiative and following these steps.