Tax Day is Tuesday, April 17 2018. That’s the deadline for filing your 2017 federal and state taxes. Is it a good day or a bad day? That may depend on whether you’re getting a refund or owe money. For many, tax time is not a fun time of the year.
There are so many different taxes it seems: federal taxes, state taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and others. Then there are taxes on certain things like soda, alcohol, and other luxury goods. The type and amount of tax you pay can vary depending on where you live. According to TaxFoundation.org for 2017, “The five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates are Louisiana (9.98 percent), Tennessee (9.46 percent), Arkansas (9.30 percent), Alabama (9.01 percent), and Washington (8.92 percent).”
Paying sales tax is easy. It’s calculated by the retailer when you make a purchase. Well, maybe “easy” isn’t the right word to use here, but when filling out state and federal taxes, there can be a lot of confusing paperwork and instructions. It takes a lot more steps to figure those out.
To make it easier on yourself in future years, organize paperwork for your federal and state taxes. Watch the mail for anything marked “Important Tax Information,” etc. Put all of that paperwork in a big envelope or a folder and keep it in a safe place. It’s so easy to set aside paperwork on a busy day and say you’ll come back for it later. When later comes, you may be asking yourself where did the paperwork go? A simple thing like a folder or a big envelope can help so much and you’ll be ready to go at tax time with all the paperwork you need.
If you're feeling confused by the tax forms, visiting the IRS website may help. You can also speak with a tax preparer like Jackson Hewitt, H&R Block, and many others.
Don't want to go to a tax preparer? You can file your own taxes online. TurboTax and others help guide you through the process, step by step. Tax preparers and online software may charge a fee, but they can make tax time a little less stressful.