Tax Bootcamp: File Your Taxes in Just 3 Days

by Beth Davies, studioD

Tax Day, April 15, 2013, is coming up fast -- maybe too fast, if you’re a tax procrastinator. Even though people have had months to work on their returns, past behavior indicates that many will wait until just before the deadline to file. In 2012, by March 30, the Internal Revenue Service had received just more than 91 million returns since the beginning of the year. By the end of April, the agency received another 42.4 million returns, including those mailed on April 16 (April 15 fell on a Sunday) that year, making April filers about 33 percent of the total. IRS data show that the average taxpayer spent 23 hours in 2011 working on his 2010 tax return -- 32 hours if he also filed Schedule C, for profit or loss from a business. The looming deadline needn’t be intimidating, though. If you break it down, preparing a return is easily doable in three days.

Day 1: Pull Together Paperwork

Day 2: Crunch the Numbers

Day 3: Check Your Work

About the Author

I'm a full-time personal finance writer based in the New York City area. I have expertise in business, shopping, food, home and garden topics.

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