The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that tax season will open on Monday, January 28, 2019. With less than 3 weeks to go until the official kick off to tax season, I thought I would compile a list of “Things To Do” that will help tax preparers get organized for tax season and make it through relatively unscathed!
- Look back to last tax season. Is there anything specific that you did that either hindered or helped? Whatever the pro or con may have been, be sure to capture it now so you can avoid the same mistake this year, or better yet, continue on with the same momentum from last busy season.
- Be knowledgeable! Make sure you are aware and understanding of any changes for the upcoming tax season. Important updates and information can be found here at the AICPA’s Tax Reform Resource Center.
- Start eating healthier and exercising now! This is probably on the top of almost everyone’s new year’s resolution list, however for accountants it’s even more important to get a real jump on this. It takes 28 days to develop a new habit, and many of us (myself included) let caution to the wind when it came to food/drink over the holidays. If you haven’t already started cleaning up your health and fitness life, with the long hours and late nights ahead of you, tax season is not the opportune time to make it happen. However if you start now, you will be less inclined to let your newly developed habits slide.
- Get your desk organized! If the space around you is in disarray, then most likely the work you do will also be in disarray. I am not saying that your desk needs to be sparkling clean, however there is a difference between organized chaos and complete clutter. If you are having trouble easily locating papers, notes, to dos, writing utensils, then it’s probably best to clean up your work space.
- Visualize tax season! This may sound a bit silly, but sit down and spend a little time visualizing what tax season looks like from 1/28 thru 4/15. Research has confirmed that visualizing a process allows for better outcomes. By visualizing you are more prone to anticipate potential bottlenecks or cracks in your current system. In many ways, visualization is like exercising your brain. This way when something comes up, it already seems familiar, allowing you to handle it from a place of comfort opposed to a place of panic!