That special time of year is creeping up quickly – tax time. If you’re like most Americans, you’re likely not looking forward to filing your taxes. It can be an arduous process for some, even if you’re expecting a welcome return.
There are ways, however, to make filing your taxes easier and less stress-inducing. Let’s take a look at what you can do to prepare to file your taxes.
Why push filing to the April deadline when you can get the ball rolling early in the year? Gather any necessary documents you’ll need for your specific situation in January – or better yet, keep a separate folder for receipts, documents, letters or on your computer for digital files throughout the year.
If you are also a business owner, make sure to keep up with your income and expenses regularly (and file quarterly). Use software programs like Expensify and Quickbooks to make this process even easier.
Find Your Preparer
Hop onto the IRS website to find out how to choose the best authorized preparer for you and your circumstances. Solidify your preparer early for the best chances in making the most out of your return and benefits for the rest of the year.
Read up on Changes
While your preparer should be aware of the different tax law changes that apply each year, it is good practice to keep current yourself. This will help you maximize your return and potentially prepare for future benefits in the coming years.
Make the Most of Deductions
Are you taking advantage of potential deductions to increase you tax return? Consider any charitable donations, car/travel expenses, work-related items (including clothes, special products, or services required in your field), educational expenses, and any costs incurred from working from home.
If you think you’ll need an extension, apply early and pay an estimated amount of what you may owe. The extension deadline gives you until October 15th to finalize your submission.
Dedicate Your Return
To make the most of your return, put a plan in place before you receive the check. Savings is always a great option, but you can also request to have the return applied to future tax payments.
Banish Tax Woes
Staying organized year-round and diligent about receipts and necessary documents will make filing your taxes smooth and easy every year. Start thinking about filing early in the year to avoid the April rush. Early and organized is the name of the game!