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Tips to Make Tax Time Less Taxing

March 29, 1994|ELIZABETH MEHREN

While the possibilities for arguments may be endless, experts say that--unlike death and taxes--tax fights can be avoided. Some suggestions for quelling the tax volcano before it erupts:

* Start early. The best time to talk taxes is months in advance, before the air becomes charged.

* Set up times to meet when you are not trying to solve anything and instead are just trying to get the issues on the table.

* Look at your tax behavior with some detachment. How would you counsel a friend who reacts the way you do?

* Almost everyone has a different interpretation of the value of money. Figure out in advance what money means to you and your partner. Does it mean power? Love? Criticism? Freedom? Control? Material opulence?

* Be utterly honest--and highly specific--when you share your side of a tax conflict.

* Be brief. Nobody loves a monologue, especially when the subject is money.

* Be polite.

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