Did you file a tax extension this year? Sadly, if you haven’t filed taxes for any tax year, the Equifax breach means that the hackers can you use your information to file a fraudulent tax return and get your refund–or a refund in your name. What a mess that would be!
So if you filed an extension this year–or if you are behind on taxes–it’s time to get this task handled. You have less than a month until the extension runs out anyway, so use this weekend to gather and compile the documents you need. Motivate yourself to do so by calling your CPA (or accountant, but I prefer using a CPA) today and setting an appointment for early next week. Then you’ll definitely need to work this weekend to get your paperwork together.
I know some people have a much larger task than I make this sound. The key is to make progress toward this task and to keep making that forward progress until the task is complete, preferably sooner rather than later.
What I Did
My husband and I filed an extension in April because we hadn’t received all of our documents yet. I’ve had the final documents since May or June, but because of my health problems and a broken drain pipe that had to be fixed under our house and because we had opted to find a new CPA, we just hadn’t filed our taxes yet, despite that we are supposedly due a refund.
So last Monday, I called a CPA whom I found highly rated online and set an appointment for two days later. I spent the intervening day feverishly reviewing and preparing summaries of our documents in a notebook so that our new CPA would be up to speed in a hurry. And I met with the CPA on Wednesday and handed off what I always feel is a gargantuan task.
- Set an appointment with a CPA if you use one. Give yourself enough time to compile the documents, but make sure you have a deadline in stone to motivate you to work on this task.
- If you have any outstanding taxes (including an extension for 2016), gather the documents, and create any records necessary (for example, if you own a business).
- Attend your appointment if you set one. Alternatively, file your own taxes if that is the path you choose.
Afterward, you should feel a lot better (I hope) that this task is handled. (I hope for your sake that you owe nothing!)
Given the Equifax breach the general thievery going on these days, I’d suggest filing your taxes as soon as you receive all your documents beginning in 2018.
Note: I’ll talk more about organizing taxes in January. I’ll also post a free checklist at that time to help you ensure that all of your records are gathered.
How Did You Do?
Have all of your taxes been filed? Or are you catching up on this task this weekend? Let me hear from you in the comments!