The Simple Guide to Doing Your Taxes for the First Time

Your first tax season doesn't have to be stressful. Here, an easy plan for filing your return.

The phrase "tax season" might make you panic, especially if you're unfamiliar with the lingo, the forms, or pretty much the entire process. Did you know the Internal Revenue Code is more than 74,000 pages? No one has time to read all of those rules.

Luckily, in the latest episode of "Adulthood Made Easy," one of Real Simple's newest podcasts, host Sam Zabell calls in an expert to help sort through the confusion. Barbara Weltman, attorney and author of J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2015 ($16,, guides Zabell through making a plan, organizing the necessary forms, and understanding the difference between deductions, exemptions, and exclusions. Plus, Weltman has important advice for reducing your taxable income and handling a mid-year job switch, as well as deductions young adults might not realize they can take. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the looming tax return deadline, listen to the full episode below, and don't forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.