This post is part of the TaxACT #BeatTheDeadline blog tour which shares tips on how to make tax time a smooth and easy process before the April 15 deadline. TaxACT provides the tools and guidance to help you confidently file taxes easy and fast. Do your own taxes today at TaxACT. You got this.

(Ding dong! Ding dong!)

Hey folks! It’s Greg, just showing up at your door to provide you with this friendly reminder: Your taxes are due in less than a week.

Yeah, you heard me right. Your taxes are due in 6 days! So, if you haven’t gotten them done yet, WHAT THE FREAK ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?!?

(Clears throat.) Sorry about that…I get a little excited sometimes.

OK, so now that we’ve established that your taxes are due very, very soon, let’s see if I can be of any more help. You are clearly a teensy weensy bit behind, so here are a few pointers that may help you get this beast done faster. Do you have a pen? Alright, let’s do this.

Gather Your Paperwork

At this point, we are working with limited time. To speed the process along, let’s make sure to get all of your tax documents together. Remember those envelopes you got in the mail stamped, “Important Tax Documents Enclosed?” Yeah, those are the ones. It is time to figure out where you put them because the time is now dude! Let’s start with your income statements.

If you have a job and/or were paid by somebody else in 2014, you should have received some sort of form from your employer. For most people, your income is reported on Form W-2. Make sure you dig this out for both you and your spouse. Not only does it show the amount of income that you made, it also shows how much money in taxes was withheld from your paycheck (very important). If you did any work as an independent contractor, you may have received a 1099-MISC. This will also report any income paid to you and taxes that were withheld. Although they are not as common, additional forms of income may be reported to you on a 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, or K-2 – among others.

Receipts, Receipts, Receipts

If you plan to itemize your deductions or claim losses against a business/rental property, you are need to dig out those receipts. Remember when you made that donation to your local food shelf last August? You are going to need a receipt if you want to write that off on your taxes. Same goes for the new light fixture you put in your rental house. If you don’t have a receipt for it, you can’t claim it.

Receipts can be a bear to keep track of. Before you start doing your taxes, make sure to get them all out and organized. Personally, I like to organize them by company and by date. Of course, it is best to keep them organized throughout the year. Regardless, get them organized prior to starting your taxes.

If you have a mortgage on a house, here is one more important document of note: Form 1098. If you have a loan on your house, you should have gotten this form in the mail from your lender. If you received the actual form, it looks very similar to a W-2 or 1099, however it will say “Mortgage Interest Statement” on it. Sometimes, it comes looking like a letter with the headings Box 1, 2, 3, and 4 located somewhere on the document. Make sure to find this piece of paper, especially if you are itemizing your deductions!

Start Now

My friend, you’ve waited long enough. Get started on this stuff now! Luckily, you don’t have to do this the old-fashioned way. For years, I did my taxes with a pen, paper forms, and the crusty old instruction booklet I picked up at the library. No more! Now, there are plenty of tax programs like TaxACT that can help you get your taxes done quickly and correctly.

Beating the tax deadline doesn’t have to be stressful. With TaxACT, everything you need to confidently prepare and e-file your taxes is right at your fingertips. You got this. File your simple or complex federal return FREE today with TaxACT Free Edition.