Know what April 15th is? Tax Day? Nope – this year you can wait to file taxes until April 18th due to a holiday in Washington D. C. Almost makes tax time exciting, right?

Paying taxes isn’t the most fun part of adult life. Here are ways I make it easier on our family.

  1. File it – I keep a file folder labeled 2010 Tax Info. When we get an important document, receipt, charitable donation form, I file it.  When it’s time to file, I have all the paperwork at hand. After filing, I put the finished paperwork in this folder and then put it in a dark drawer – forever. Well, at least 7 years for audit purposes.
  2. Keep notes – On the outside of my file folder, I take notes of what papers I stuck inside, questions for my tax person at Useful information from last year or things to remember for next year.
  3. Computerize – We use Quicken software to track expenditures, which allows us to mark certain transactions as Tax info. I can do an itemized search to see whether we spent enough on health care to qualify for the deduction. (We don’t. Which is a blessing because it means we’re in good health!).
  4. File online – Probably the most important way to ease our tax preparation the past five years has been our online filing at The first year I had to input a lot of information by hand. But in subsequent years, I just put in my pin and “voila!” my info shows up and I’m sailing!

I have used H&R Block’s online services for the past 5 years. It’s always easy, organized, and a stress-reducer! walks you through filing with questionnaire pages. Helpful pop-outs tell you what items qualify as deductions, or why the IRS needs certain information.

You can download information right into your return. saves your return from year to year, making it easier each time you file. Add a state filing and all your federal info is transferred over – easy peasy!

The coolest part? As you enter each piece of info, watch your tax refund go up-up-UP! (well, hopefully!). It almost takes the sting out of having to pay taxes to begin with!

This year, I spent probably 2 months procrastinating my filing, and then less than an hour actually filing. Last year and this year I’ve used’s Best of Both service. Best of Both is great for people who have complex filing, or if you’re just like me and you want to have someone at your beck and call!

It’s more expensive, but here’s the added perks:

  • I get a real tax professional working on my file. I can use the same person each year (as long as she’s with the company) or pick a new person. (I always pick the same one – she’s good!). I like having someone that I can email, or even call on the phone if I have questions.
  • I can ask questions to a REAL person to my heart’s content (oh boy, I get my money’s worth on this one!).
  • The tax pro reviews the return I prepared online, and our paperwork (which I faxed to her) to be sure I get the maximum refund. Unfortunately, just because I think I am worth getting more money back doesn’t mean the IRS thinks so!

Using Best of Both lets me sigh in relief, because I’m always nervous I’ll make a mistake on my taxes, since laws and deductions change from year to year. But now I know it’s all been scrutinized professionally, so I rest easy!

Haven’t done your taxes yet? First of all, you should know there is a FREE version of’s online filing (state is extra). Then, there are several levels of services with tons of features and benefits. And ANY of the services can be started for free if you just want to see if you like how it works!

WIN IT! If you haven’t filed yet, and my blog are going to help you out this year! FIVE lucky winners will receive a free Federal Filing using H&R Block At Home service! (State filing will be extra). ARV $74.95. This service includes Worry Free Audit Support, Maximum Refund Guarantee, and Accurate Calculations Guarantee.

Disclosure: I was given a free tax filing to facilitate writing this post. I was not compensated in any other way, and all opinions are 100% my own.

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