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Spring is in the air… We have altered our clocks to give us that extra hour of day light, our lawns are in need of a manicure and that age old tradition of college basketball teams battling it out for the ultimate title is underway.

There is also one more sign that winter has morphed into spring. It starts out as a small annoying tickle in the back of our brain as we become glued to our tablets and newspapers for the latest basketball scores and bracket updates. Then it quickly develops into a squeaky nagging voice, shaking us into reality at about the same time the newest NCAA Champions have been crowned. Finally we are hearing the same words over and over and over… “taxes”, “taxes”, “taxes”, “TAXES”!!!!

Yes, spring also welcomes in the Tax Man and by April 1st we will all be filled with a new type of madness, running around in circles; hastily gathering any tax documentation and tossing them into the only handy box we can find… the same one filled with the pictures and receipts from last summer’s trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. All the while praying that we didn’t forget anything important that will prevent us from meeting that April 15th deadline!

We all know this picture and every year we keep saying the same thing, “Next year, I am going to do it differently!” Well folks, it’s now next year and we are a month away from the inevitable tax deadline. So let’s make 2015 the year to make a difference in how we handle our financial obligation.

The trick is to work a little each day so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Break your tax process into smaller chunks and spend 20 to 30 minutes a day to get it done. Listed below, is a sample of how you can split up your tax project into a more manageable set of tasks:

  1. Choose a qualified tax preparer
  2. Set up an appointment
  3. Organize your tax documentation
  4. Get your receipts in order
  5. Check out your tax deductions
  6. Don’t forget your charitable contributions
  7. Grab your tax file from last year
  8. Check for changes in tax laws (knowledge is important)
  9. Write out your personal information (any changes over the last year)

By following the steps above, not only will you feel better because you are in control of your time but your stress will also be alleviated, which lowers your blood pressure for an overall healthier you.