Single and Settling In

Single life has its own unique challenges, personally and financially. Hear how these bloggers are making the single life work for them.

Tax Time Doesn't Have To Be Painful!

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Every year I listen to folks moan and groan about having to do their taxes.  It doesn't have to be that way.  I know as a single person my finances are not too difficult to work with, but what I found out a few years ago is that if you work with someone that can help you understand the ins and outs of filing, you can actually benefit from it.  First and foremost - I am no expert in taxes and everything I have done as it relates to taxes and filing works for me, and I in no way shape or form am giving anyone advice on what to do - just my opinion!  With that said, a few years ago I decided to pay an accountant to do my taxes each year.  I liked the idea of having someone know my financial situation year after year and guide me through certain periods of my life as I continued to grow financially.  Best thing I ever did.  Worth the little I spend to have it done, and now have gained a great relationship with this particular accountant. I am comfortable contacting them for advice on various situations, and they know enough about me know to guide me in the right direction Couple of things that I realized helped me each year:

  • Modify withholding. In the long run, for me, I prefer to have more taxes taken out of my paycheck then less. I would rather be expecting a return, than sweating if I am going to have to pay after filing. Others prefer to have more in their check, and try to "break even". You know I'm not big on gambling, so I take the safe bet. Have someone work with you to figure out what works best for you when completing state and federal forms. This will save you the headache and unpleasant surprises come tax time.
  • Keep track. Most people don't realize that some of the small things add up very quickly. It is really easy to drop a load of clothes off at your local Goodwill and when they ask if you need a receipt, not think it is necessary. Keep track of that "stuff" you think doesn't count for much -you would be very surprised. Between my donations and the various activities and expenses involved in the volunteer work that I do - I had no idea how much of the expenses we take for granted are actually tax deductable. Ask - you never know!

These are just a couple of hints and next year will be the last year I will be filing single.  I loved purchasing my first new house - the tax breaks were wonderful, I heard getting married is much the same! 

Don't forget, you know my philosophy, if you get a refund - save AND play.  Mine will go toward my debt, obviously, and I will have a little to put away in the emergency fund, but I worked hard for my money last year, so I will always take a small amount and do something fun with it.  Tell me about your tax secrets and why tax season isn't so bad for you!  Happy filing! 

  • As I continued answering the questions, and filling in numbers, the amount I owed was going down, but it soon became obvious that I when it was all said and done, I was going to owe more than I had been planning for.

  • I don't know how to make it easier or better for me. So, I suffer through and rely on someone else to do what is in my best interest.

  • Yes, tax time is here and you should have all of your 2010 year-end statements bundled together in a large envelope to take to your tax preparer or do online yourself.

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