First Person: I Do My Taxes as Early as Possible

Yahoo Contributor Network

Welcome to another tax season in America, the time of year when people scramble for paperwork, worry about their tax results and learn new ways to procrastinate until the dreaded day of April 15. For me, this is the time of year when I get ready to visit my friendly neighborhood accountant and do the interesting paperwork. I already have a file that is meticulously organized with income, deductible expenses and various deductions. While some people are in no hurry to do their taxes, I want to get it done soon. If I didn't have to wait until the end of January for some of the paperwork, I would actually get it done earlier.

Knowing is half the battle

Why do I get my taxes done so early? Simple. It avoids the April rush, and more importantly it tells me the results so that I have two months to plan. If I am getting a return, I have something to look forward to and I can plan on how I will invest that funding. The reverse is also true. If I am going to owe money, I have time to plan and figure out how I will fund the expense. Granted, I do work hard to maintain a balance so that I get close to breaking even on taxes every year. As G.I. Joe used to say, "Knowing is half the battle."

Planning for the rest of the year

It is also useful to know about my tax situation as early as possible because I can then plan for the rest of the year. If I have to adjust deductions or rearrange certain investments, it is good to know that in February instead of April. That represents two extra months to benefit from financial adjustments. This is particularly true for 2013 since payroll taxes are higher and paychecks are lower for everyone. I may want to make some adjustments going forward.

Procrastination and money management

For me, getting my taxes done is part of an overall financial philosophy that involves planning ahead and avoiding procrastination. I don't think that people have financial challenges because they have poor intentions. Rather, I think procrastination can contribute to a host of financial challenges that result from missed deadlines and poor planning. Sometimes I wonder if people procrastinate because they are afraid of bad news.

Whether tax time results in good or bad news, I want to know.

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