Tax season is stressful on several levels—of course, it’s a necessity that you can’t really avoid and mess-ups can have major consequences. If you’re paying someone to conquer your tax return for you, you might not be looking forward to that expense, and the same is true if you’re having to pay the IRS while those around you get a welcome deposit.

If you take a DIY approach to file your taxes, you might feel overwhelmed by the project at hand, especially because the stakes are high. However, filing your tax return yourself offers unprecedented control over the process, letting you move through it with newfound confidence.

Stock up on supplies.

Whether you‘re filing digitally or by hand, you’ll need some supplies to make it happen. Of course, you’ll have to compile your tax forms and documentation in one place, ensuring this crucial data is readily available whenever you need it. Then, you’ll need to collect the appropriate software or paper forms for filing. In either case, you’re likely to have some degree of paperwork on your hands, and tax return envelopes can help you ensure they stay organized throughout tax season and beyond—you never know when you might have to refer to the previous year’s tax return!

Know what you’re up against.

You don’t need to be a tax professional to successfully file your taxes, but you will need a working knowledge of tax basics. It’s important that you understand how taxes work, in the simplest sense, how and when you need to file, and what exemptions and deductions apply to your specific tax return. This amount of knowledge might seem intimidating if you’re doing your taxes for the first time, but it will pay off significantly when you file your taxes successfully. Put simply, your upfront research is a necessary yet powerful step in the tax filing process!

Get organized.

You’ll find no shortage of tax preparation checklists online and may even find one included in your tax preparation software or system. The ideal tax prep checklist for you will depend on your filing status and other factors—you may need to customize a pre-made checklist to get the best results. However, an accurate checklist can ensure you’re dotting your Is and crossing your Ts, so to speak, keeping you on track with your tax return efforts and ensuring you file your taxes accurately and completely.

Double-check your efforts.

Even if you were to ignore every other step on this list, you must be sure you double-check your tax return and try to avoid any mistakes. You may be surprised to learn that the IRS will typically correct minor issues, such as a simple math error, rather than send you directly to an audit—and that even a formal audit isn’t the end of the world. Still, you can save yourself some stress by preparing with a bit of extra attention in advance. This is one great motivator to make time for your taxes before the deadline—you’ll have plenty of time to catch and correct any errors!

Whatever your plan, filing your taxes on your own doesn’t have to be intimidating. With a bit of preparation, you might even find it to be fun! Invest in dedicated tax folders to organize your forms and documentation, and make sure you have any necessary paperwork or software for filing.

Do any necessary research into tax preparation basics to be sure you’re doing it properly, and leave some time to check over your work and catch any potential mistakes. And remember: This is a task that millions of people successfully accomplish every year, and you can, too!