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Doing a tax return is rarely fun but planning ahead takes some of the sting out of it.

I’ve never met a person who just loves preparing his or her tax returns but, once a year, it does come up and we simply must deal with it. I try to always get the taxes done sooner rather than later and am always looking for new tips to make it easier and less stressful.

And just to be sure I’m doing everything possible to plan ahead for tax return preparation, I like to check out tips others are using to lessen the administrative burden. This year, two of the best posts I came across in this regard were published by fellow writer and solo-entrepreneur John Soares on

See if you can’t find some ideas to incorporate in your own tax return preparation plans using John’s advice:

How I Do My Taxes

The 8 Top Ways to Legally Lower Your 2013 Freelance Writer Tax Bill

Like John, I use Turbotax, Excel spreadsheets, a receipt envelope system and a professional accountant for this tax work. But I’m also interested in hearing your great tips and advice too if you’re willing to share.