Tax season is just around the corner, and for many, this time of year can be both daunting and overwhelming. However, with the proper planning and organization, you can take on tax season with confidence! This blog post will serve as your comprehensive guide to tax season preparation, outlining the key steps you need to take to ensure a smooth and stress-free tax season!
How To Prepare For Tax Season
Preparing for tax season seems like a year-long process at times. From tracking mileage to organizing receipts, there’s always something tax-related to do. However, when the calendar turns over to a new year, it’s time to really start thinking about tax season preparation and the steps you need to take to get ready for filing day. Read on for your complete guide to tax preparation and everything you need to know!
Stay Informed About Tax Law Changes
Tax laws are ever-changing and it is your responsibility to stay informed on these changes, as they can make a significant difference. Familiarize yourself with any updates or changes to tax laws that may affect your filing status or eligibility for credits. You can also reach out to your tax preparer or accountant for more information on these changes and the potential impacts on your taxes.
Gather and Organize Key Documents
This is one of the most daunting parts of the tax season preparation process – gathering all of the key documents needed. This includes tax forms such as W-2’s, 1099s, and other forms. You’ll also want to gather and organize receipts, mileage records, social security documents, bank statements, income statements, expense records, payroll records, tax deduction records, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, financial statements, and any other relevant or requested paperwork.
Take some time to review all of your financial documents and categorize them by income and expenses to make it easier to identify potential deductions or tax credits. You can use an accounting software like Quickbooks Online to make this process simple.
Having all of the documents you need to properly file your taxes in one organized place will save you a lot of time and prevent last-minute searches.
Explore Deductions and Credits
With all of your documents and records organized and in one place, you can explore and identify potential deductions and credits that are available to you.
Some common deductions and credits include:
- Mortgage interest.
- Student loan interest.
- Medical expenses.
- Startup costs.
- Business expenses.
- Child Tax Credit.
- Education Credits.
These deductions and credits can save you significant amounts of money, so do your due diligence and explore all of your options.
Consider Professional Help
While some individuals prefer to handle and file their taxes themselves, it is beneficial to seek out professional help. Tax professionals can provide advice and expertise, help ensure that you have everything you need, it’s all accurate, you are maximizing your savings, and overall, help you navigate tax season with a little more ease and peace of mind. Learn more about how we can assist you during tax season here.
Plan for Retirement Contributions
If you’re looking for more ways to positively reduce your tax liability (while planning for the future!), you can contribute to retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s or IRAs. Evaluate your contributions and look for ways to maximize them in order to take advantage of potential tax benefits, thus, reducing your tax bill.
Review Before Submission
Just like when you were in school getting ready to turn in a big test, it’s key to thoroughly review your tax return before submitting it. Check to make sure that all information is entered correctly, you’ve chosen the correct filing status, and all deductions and credits are accounted for.
Reflect and Plan for Next Year
While you may be begging for a break from taxes once you’ve filed, this is a great time to reflect and plan for next year. Consider ways to make your life easier when it comes to next year’s tax season preparation as well as ways that you can maximize your tax savings. You may look at adjusting your withholdings, organizing your financial documents throughout the year using Quickbooks Online, tracking mileage using a software like TripLog, or managing your receipts online using Hubdoc or Dext. It’s never too early to stay proactive with your tax planning.
By following these steps and guidelines for tax season preparation, you can stay on top of things, take advantage of resources and opportunities to save, and get through tax season with less stress and more confidence. If you’re curious about working with us to make this tax season and future tax seasons smoother, visit our contact page to learn more about how we can help you get organized and maximize your money!