Every year on April 15, people flood the post office. They have waited until the last possible second for filing taxes. Filing taxes doesn’t have to be a stressful and time-consuming process. You can take some steps throughout the year to make sure that your tax filing process goes smoothly.

CPA Michelle Swenson recommends keeping all tax-filing related information in a file in your home office. If you keep all of your forms for filing taxes organized, when it comes time to file your taxes, you won’t have a problem finding all of the information you need. By the end of January, your employer should have sent you all the forms you need to file your taxes (W-2s, 1099s, etc.). If you haven’t received the forms you need for filing your taxes, follow up with your employer.

Swenson says it’s up to you to stay on top of filing your taxes. “I mean ultimately, your filing responsibility is on you, the individual taxpayer. It’s up to you to gather the information and determine what’s missing, forward that on to your CPA, or whoever is preparing your taxes, but ultimately if you don’t file, that falls on you.”

When you keep the previous year’s tax returns on hand you simplify the process for filing taxes. Swenson says, “It just gives that tax preparer information on what types of income you had in the prior year, what types of deductions you had and let’s face it, people’s tax situations don’t change drastically from year to year, so it’s important to provide that to your tax preparer, just so they have a sort of a picture of your tax situation.”

To streamline the process of filing taxes, follow this important tip. Make sure that you have all of the forms and receipts that you need for filing taxes and keep those forms in an organized file.

If you’re organized, filing taxes can be a simple, stress-free task.

For more stories on filing taxes, how to file taxes, real estate and personal finance visit ThinkGlink.com.

June 27, 2008.