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april 15Holy 1040, Tax Man! If you have already filed your 2013 tax return, you have nothing to worry about. While some of your friends are burning the midnight oil trying to finish up their tax returns, you can relax.  Next week’s blog is just for you. But, if you haven’t filed your tax return yet, the deadline is just a few short days away. What do you do first? First, find all of your income documents for 2013. These types of papers include  your W2 form from your employer, your bank statement showing interest income earned on your account, unemployment benefits received, alimony from your ex-spouse. All income is taxable unless it is specifically excluded. Child support you received is not taxable income and it is also not deductible by the person who pays it. What if you don’t have the papers you need?  Or what if  you can’t find, all of the papers you need?  Is filing an extension a good choice for you? What you need to know about extensions is this. An extension will only allow you more time to file your paperwork. An extension will not allow you more time to pay the taxes that are due on April 15th. If you usually get a refund, and if your income and withholding are the same this year as they were  last year, it may be safe for you to request an extension. But if you wind up owing taxes when you do file your tax return, your return will be considered filed late. Your taxes will be considered paid late. You could owe a penalty for filing late and you could owe another penalty for paying your taxes late. Plus, you will also owe interest on taxes that are not paid on time. If you think you might owe tax, are you able to make a payment with your request for extension? If you wind up having paid in more than was needed to cover your tax bill, you can request that overpayment be refunded to you. You can also request an overpayment be applied to next year’s tax. If you are having trouble getting your paperwork together, you will want to be sure to go to my website, www.BulletProofYourTaxes, next week. Check out the blog posts. I’ll be writing another article specifically on how to organize your important tax documents throughout the year. Some people thrive on the adrenalin rush. But if you are practicing “just in time” management, you may not even know the bliss in surrendering to the peaceful flow of life. Like many of my colleagues, I am deadline driven. April 15th is certainly another of those deadlines. I invite you to remember the nursery rhyme “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” It encourages us to row our boat, but also to row it gently down the stream. Not upstream. Not against the current. And row your boat merrily. Enjoy life. We only have this moment. And we will never have it again.