It’s that time of the year when Uncle Sam puts out his hand, does his best Rihanna impression and reminds every single eligible taxpayer that “bitch better have my money.”
Or as you might like to think of it, tax season.
In the spirit of reminding you…don’t act like you forgot…this week you’re going to get your taxes organized and filed as part of NextGen MilSpouse’s You Got This: 52 Challenges to Make 2016 Your Bitch.
Week 11 Challenge: Get Your Taxes Organized and Filed
Challenge Details: Take 3 to 4 hours to organize your paperwork and file your taxes either on your own or with professional assistance.
Your Deadline: March 20
Bonus points if you post a photo of that face you make when you finish filing your taxes on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using #2016isMyBitch or #IGotThis.
Pay Uncle Sam What You Owe Him: Get Your Taxes Filed
Gather Your Important Documents
We’re not going to lie…it’s a lot of paperwork to gather but if you spend the time organizing yourself, filing your taxes is infinitely easier.
You can also check out our Smart MilSpouse’s Guide to Filing Your Taxes that we updated just in time for filing your 2015 taxes.
DIY or Outsource Your Taxes
There are tons of options for filing your taxes including FREE and discounted options for military families. Like…
Do It Yourself Tax Filing Online
Military OneSource is offering a no-cost online tax preparation and filing service! You’ll need to register with them to use the service, but hey, it’s FREE!
Turbo Tax has two programs running right now for military families:
- Turbo Tax Freedom Edition offers free federal AND state filing for individuals who earn $31,000 (AGI) or less per year (great for teens and college students), are active duty military or qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC).
- Turbo Tax Military Edition offers online filing specifically tailored to identify tax credits and deductions for military members and their families. This edition is free for E1-E5 (state filing is free as well) or for E6-Officers receive a $5 discount on their federal products.
- USAA offers their members specials for Turbo Tax too. Check out there current offers here.
Outsource Your Taxes
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) provides free income tax filing assistance for service members via your installation’s Legal Office. Find your local legal office by using this handy locator!
Hire a Certified Personal Accountant (CPA)
Is your tax filing status best described as “it’s complicated?” Perhaps you have rental home income and/or a small business. Maybe you’re a 1099 contractor or are self-employed. Whatever your situation, it might be best to call a professional for help with your taxes to make sure you’re doing everything right.
My tax life got infinitely better when I hired my CPA & fellow military spouse, Anna Vutera of Anna Vutera CPA. Full disclosure, she has no idea I decided to share her with all of you.
Prepare for Tax Season 2016
Did you get a giant tax refund?
No matter how good you feel when your tax refund comes in, a sizable refund isn’t ideal. Getting a big tax refund typically means that you’ve withheld (read: overpaid) way too much each month. By speaking with a tax professional, you can get a better idea of how many exemptions and which status you should use to withhold your taxes from your paycheck. You’re better off depositing the difference in a savings account rather than giving Uncle Sam the extra cash.
Did you have to write a big tax check?
Oy vey. See our advice above. Speak with a tax professional to see if you should be paying quarterly income taxes or withholding more money each month from your paycheck.
Were you crazy disorganized when it came to file your taxes?
Get organized. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A plastic file box or an expanding file will do the trick. Bonus? It’ll double as a great system to include your other important/sensitive documents, too!
And look…we even did the shopping for you (yes, we get a few pennies if you purchase through our links):