Every year thousands of working Americans pay numerous bills and then realize they have little left to pay what they owe in taxes. Owing the IRS can be scary because if taxes go unpaid and unresolved you can potentially face some of the harshest collection mechanisms. Many taxpayers avoid the IRS because they cannot pay and are scared of what may happen when the IRS finds out they can’t pay. Understand that the IRS allows individuals to resolve their taxes that they cannot pay in various ways, no matter how bad their financial situation is. Before considering a tax payment plan or some other form of tax settlement is a smart idea to double check and make sure you have taken all possible deductions that you could have taken. If you have not done so already, you should have a tax professional take a look at your return to see if there is anything you missed. Every year there are new tax credits that become available that the average taxpayer is not aware of. It is also a good idea to check past tax returns as well. You will still be able to claim a refund up to 3 years from your filing deadline or 2 years from your last tax payment. So if you have missed deductions in the past you can file an amended tax return to offset what you owe this year.
With the arrival of 2010, I thought a quick post and link to some info about organizing your finances could be of some use. In the past, I used to have my paperwork everywhere, and I could never find anything without spending hours digging through file cabinets, paper boxes, the desk, the bookcase…everywhere. And come tax time, forget it. I was never the type to get my shoebox out in January and fill it all year long with tax documents like donations to charity or Goodwill. All that changed in the last year for me, and it has made quite a difference. So, from LifeOrganizers.com, I wanted to share with you these 5 ways to start organizing your finances so that 2010 will be a smoother year than 2009 was.
Two years ago, I wrote about buying rechargeable batteries for everything in my house that needs them – and I have to say that it was definitely one of my better purchases…ever. I got 36 batteries for less than $30…24 AA batteries and 12 AAA ones. There are so many things around my house that use batteries of this size – remote controls, computer mice, smoke detectors, kitchen timers, flashlights – that the purchase has turned out to be a no-brainer. I used to buy multiple packs of AA batteries all year, only to throw them in recycling a few months after the purchase. But now, after my one time purchase, I just plug them and in 30 minutes, I have a brand new set ready for use.
Wondering just how you are doing financially? You probably are if you are like the majority of people. While I don’t necessarily worry about it or spend too much time focusing on how much money I have, it’s nice to check in once in a while to see how I am doing compared to how I am “supposed” to be doing. And since 2009 is coming to a close in a few days, I wanted to revisit a quick little test I found last year over at CNN/Money that asks questions about how much you make, your age, your housing and debt costs, retirement information, etc and tells you how you are doing. While not an exact science, it can give you a good overview of your situation. It only takes a few minutes, so give it a shot!
It’s that getting to be that time again – time to fill up the highways, airports, and railways with people on their way to visit relatives for the holidays. I took off last week via car to the east coast and made it with no problems, right before the blizzard hit. Good thing I drive fast! For those of you just starting to think about what you are going to do this year (Maybe a little late?), there are a few ways to both save money and save yourself some headaches in the process.