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There’s no question about it: Filing for taxes can be very stressful. That stress goes for anyone, but it can be even worse for beginners who have never done tax filing before. Fortunately, with a little bit of work and a good chunk of preparation, you can make this process much easier. Here are a few ways to make your life easier if you are a beginner when it comes to filing your taxes.

Using Tax Software

Thanks to the advent of the internet, there is no shortage of high-quality tax software that is simple to understand. All of these don’t require much tax knowledge, but you will have to have at least a basic understanding of your financial situation and have kept good records in order to understand your financial situation. There are costs associated with filing like this, but if your tax situation is relatively simple, these costs are usually minimal.

Seeing a Tax Professional

According to Buchheit Tax, tax professionals use computerized tax returns and electronic filing for federal and state returns. They are also aware of all of the recent changes in federal and state tax laws, ensuring that your taxes are up to date and legal when they file for you. Using a tax professional can be more expensive, but the expense is often worth it. This is particularly the case if you feel uncomfortable filing your own taxes or you have a more complicated tax situation that may prohibit you from doing your taxes on your own.

Maintaining Good Financial Records

Half of the battle of trying to file your taxes is tracking down old expenses. What about that $50 check you wrote to your local charity six months ago? Or the receipt for gas when you took a work trip? According to Patriot, much of the stress over taxes can be made much easier if you maintain good financial records throughout the year. Create a good filing system that is easy for you to maintain, or invest in low-cost financial software—there are even a few free options you can use. While heavy-duty computerized financial software is not necessary, you must have some way of keeping track of your financial expenses if you want to prevent last second, tax-time panic.

Filing for taxes can be stressful, but as long as you keep track of your financial paperwork and put a little bit of effort into your taxes when tax time comes, you’ll be in great shape. It may cost you a little bit in time or money, but you can make filing for your taxes a breeze.

Here’s another article you might like: Things You Might Be Able to Write Off on Your Taxes