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The millennial guide to filing taxes without ripping your hair out

Tax season doesn’t have to be so awful.

Dot Recs

Published Jan 30, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 2:43 am CDT

This post is brought to you by CJ Affiliate’s VIP Content Service. While this was a sponsored opportunity from H&R Block, all content expressed here is written by the Daily Dot.

In school, you’re taught important things, like the difference between who and whom, or finding the hypotenuse in a triangle. Unfortunately, few of us learn life true skills, like properly filing your taxes until you’re knee-deep in receipts and breathing through a paper bag.

Take a deep breath. Put the paper bag down. Tax season doesn’t have to be so awful. Now that apps and software have replaced hard copy documents, it’s easier than ever to get through filing. Yes, even if you have no idea what you’re doing.

Whether this is your first crack at filing your own taxes or you’ve recently switched statuses, consider these pointers to make the process more manageable with H&R Block.

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1) Technology is your friend

It is 2017, and there is no reason you should be using a pen to file your taxes. As you enter new phases in life—for example, new jobs, mortgages, and maybe even children—the filing process only gets more complicated.

Filing digitally not only does all the organizing for you, it also coaches you through the process

H&R Block asks you to fill out basic information, like status and income, and provides you with the proper documents according to your answers. As you enter more information, the service will ask you questions and provide layman’s term answers to commonly asked questions each step of the way

2) Save your taxpaying self more money

While many programs now guide you through the process so that you don’t have to wade through IRS forms alone, the assistance can often be costly, H&R Block may help alleviate those expenses for some.

The company’s new online-only product, More Zero, is a free filing service that guarantees the maximum refund. It’s specially intended for new filers and homeowners: those who file federal and state 1040EZ, 1040A and 1040 forms with Schedule A. If you own a home, make cash or noncash charitable donations, or have medical expenses, you might be able to file online for free with H&R Block.

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3) Filing taxes is a marathon, not a race

It’s easy to get frustrated when entering a year’s worth of numbers that you swore you’d track more closely this year. Rather than beating yourself up, take the filing process one chunk at a time.

H&R Block provides taxpayers the ability to file on any device, and saves your place through the process. So you can start on your mobile device and finish on your computer.

4) Collect your information early

In order to take it one step at a time, you’ll need to start early.

The 2017 deadline to file taxes, also known as Tax Day, is April 18. However, like most things in life, it’s important to avoid waiting until the last minute because one of the most annoying parts of filing taxes is tracking down all the information. (“What information?” you say? Start with this checklist.)

More Zero has a W-2 import feature that makes filing a literal snap. Take a picture of the W-2 with your camera, and the information will be imported into its appropriate box. One and done—no more room for small typing errors.

5) Keep track of your returns

If this ain’t your first tax-filing rodeo, chances are, you have saved past returns after filing. (And if you haven’t, start now!) Regardless of how or where you previously filed, you can import a PDF of last year’s return through H&R Block to save yourself time and headaches.

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*First Published: Jan 30, 2017, 11:34 am CST