How to Prepare to Do Your Taxes

Get your paperwork ready, because the IRS begins accepting tax returns Jan. 31.

2014 tax documents
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While you're getting documents ready for 2013 taxes, make sure you have all the systems in place you need for 2014 taxes. If you're planning for 2013 taxes, "you're a year too late," Schnepper says. "They should be getting ready now for filing their 2014 returns."

[See: Avoid These 10 Common Tax Mistakes.]

If you absolutely can't pull together everything you need by April 15, don't worry. Taxpayers can get an extension to file as late as Oct. 15 just by asking – although they need to estimate the amount due and send the money by April 15.

Plus, Phillips Erb says, you can always get a do-over. If you make a mistake, you can file an amended return.

Don't be afraid of April 15, she advises. "Just keep in mind that it's one day, and you can fix it if it's wrong," she says. "Anything can be fixed."