First, before starting the preparation of the tax return, start by organizing all the needed papers and supplies. Designate a desk in the house as your tax desk, and assign a folder where all the pay stubs, W-4 slips and supporting documentation are kept and contained. It is also great idea to ensure that the tax folder can be sealed so that any important documents are safely secured. Keep a calculator, pencils and some scratch paper handy in case some quick calculations will be needed or a note about the deductions will be done in writing. Second, gather all the necessary supporting documents especially those that support any deductions. Gather together all receipts, utility bills and mortgage documents. Try and keep them together in their own file inside the tax folder. This way, when you are ready to do your deductions, you can simply grab the documentation that you need to work on it. This folder is also helpful in the off chance that you are audited as you won’t be scrambling for receipts at the last minute because you already have them organized and ready to support your arguments. Third, using the tax preparation software may ease the stress and worry being brought about by preparing the tax return yourself. The tedious job of filling the forms and writing the tax return by hand may also be avoided with the help of the software. With a tax preparation software, one can simply answer questions about the job and home life, while plugging in the numbers that you have handy in your deductions and tax files. The software can also e-file your tax return so that the IRS gets it quicker, which means that you get your tax return faster as well. Lastly, when preparing the tax return in printed forms, always remember to use the simplest form available for your tax situation. Most people can use the 1040EZ, which is the shortest and easiest form that can be used for your taxes. It is ideal for those who make less than $100,000 and you meet other criteria, such as being under 65 years of age, filing jointly with a spouse and have income from wages and interest only.