This post is part of the TaxACT #DIYtaxes blog tour which shares stories and tips about doing your own taxes and how it makes you smarter about the overall health of your finances. Do your own taxes today at TaxACT. You got this.

Tax season is here!  This is the time of year that Uncle Sam giveth and he taketh away.  For this reason, most of us are hunkered down at home or the office with W2s and 1099s trying to make sense of our taxes.  Hopefully with a glass of wine.

If you’re dreading working through piles of receipts, figuring out what tax codes are new, what’s changed and how to make sense of it all as it applies to our individual situations, chill out.   Let’s talk about what you can actually learn from this process.  It isn’t as hard as you think as long as you’re being mindful and prepared.

Love + Hate Relationship With Taxes

I don’t know anyone that likes to do their own taxes.  Unless they have a pretty straightforward tax situation, then doing my own taxes might as well be equated to sitting for the GRE all over again.  I personally don’t like doing my own taxes.  Why?  I’d say that I have a somewhat complicated situation having a W2 job and 2 businesses – my private practice and running this website.

For example, a single woman with no children and one job for the tax year has a pretty simple return, barring other issues lurking in the background.  However, if you’re a recently divorced now single woman with children, receiving alimony with 3 W2 jobs and a side business, you may have a more complicated situation.  For this reason, it’s helpful to understand how your financial decisions can impact your liability.  However, the process can be burdensome so it pays to be organized throughout the year.

Benefits Of Doing My Own Taxes

Some love doing their own taxes because it gives them a sense of control and ownership in the financial realm.  Yes, it’s easier to pass everything off to our CPA but for some of us we’d rather take a hands on approach.  The experience we get going through the various tax forms, checking our deductions and credits to see how they affect your final liability – it can be exciting!   It also makes you more knowledgeable throughout the year as you can make decisions that will ultimately reduce your tax liability.

Using Tax Software To Ease The Pain

With the advent of services like TaxAct, doing your own taxes just gets easier.  Further, with all the informational resources you learn along the way how financial decisions throughout the year affect your bottom line with Uncle Sam.  It’s also cheaper this way as opposed to sitting down with a CPA to sort through all of your tax issues.

What I Eventually Learned

I learned the following makes the tax filing process easier: being mindful about every financial decision.  This includes retirement contributions, receipts for business related expenses, charitable donations (this includes tithing), deductions and credits.  It helps to keep a monthly log of the issues that will need to be reconciled throughout the year.

Beating the tax deadline doesn’t have to be stressful. With TaxACT, everything you need to confidently prepare and e-file your taxes is right at your fingertips. You got this. File your simple or complex federal return FREE today with TaxACT Free Edition.

This post was produced in partnership with Kasai Media.