Taxes; we hate them, we fear them, and no one loves them. Even the federal government doesn’t love them, though it seems like they keep coming up with unique ways to impart them on us.

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Let’s face this reality. Without taxes we have nothing. We have no schools, no roads, no public services, and right now for many people no health care. This isn’t a debate on whether or not some of these are liked or not; these are just the facts.

Whether we like the police we know we need them in many situations. Whether we complain about the roads eventually they get fixed. People without children gripe and say they shouldn’t have to pay school taxes and yet they went to school, private or not.

And at this time of the year, a month before taxes need to be filed with state and federal governments (yeah, I know some states don’t have income taxes), what you think you hear is hate about having to file taxes but what you’re actually hearing is fear.

What are the fears? Fear #1, will I owe or will I get a refund? Fear #2, how are my taxes spent? Fear #3, will they come back later saying something was wrong and take money away from me?

Here’s the thing about fear; it’s always about the unknown. When it comes to taxes, we’re talking money. Some people think it’s all about the IRS but the truth is the overwhelming majority of us have nothing to fear from the IRS. If you owe something and can’t pay it all on the day it’s due, they will work with you on paying what you owe. Even if it’s a high amount they’ll set up a payment plan and you get to choose how much you want to pay… within reason of course.

Is it possible that your taxes are complicated? As a small business owner suddenly there are lots of write-offs that could bring down your liability. Are you incorporated? Even moreso. Maybe you had a side business to deal with? Did you get something via a will or estate?

This is where both accountants and tax services come into play. No one has to continue doing their taxes on their own. As a matter of fact, I started turning all my tax processes over to an accountant in 2005 and I’ve never looked back. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do them but I didn’t have time to do them. And I ended up with some pretty high tax liabilities that came because of my own misunderstanding of how it all worked; if I’d hooked up with her one year earlier, I might have saved myself tens of thousands of dollars; ugh.

No matter where you are, no matter whether you’re going to owe or pay, you need to know what’s going on with your tax liability. It’s always better to do it sooner when you have more opportunities to find the right people rather than later, when you might get put on a waiting list and end up being shocked at some point. Don’t fear taxes; embrace them, challenge them, and get it done.

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