We know that Tax Time isn’t exactly something that makes people jump for joy – even if a refund is expected. However, it’s something we all have to do. With that said, we’re compiled 10 tips and tricks to help you make the process move along a bit more smoothly. Here’s the first half of our “Top Ten Tax Time Tips”!
1. SAVE YOUR FORMS – After the first of the year is when tax forms begin to trickle into your mailbox. Make sure you keep them all! It’s better to realize that you kept something(s) that you could have disposed of verses shredding a document that you’ll wind up needing (and not having) later on.
2. EVERY PENNY COUNTS – Will you be itemizing this year? If so, remember – every penny counts…but you’ll need receipts to prove it! Aside from all the official tax documents you’ll be receiving from various institutions, don’t forget about all of the other items that you’ve collected throughout the year that can be used towards itemized deductions; for instance, pretty much any donations you’ve made to charitable organizations are tax deductible, as are a portion of your vehicle registration fees, a portion of annual medical expenses, and more!
3. DEVELOP A SYSTEM – To help keep track of all those forms you’ll be amassing, develop a storage system. This might be as simple as a manila envelope that everything gets stashed in, or it could be something a bit more sophisticated – like an expandable file system. Find something that works for you…and use it!
4. WHO’S DOING WHAT – How will you be preparing your taxes this year? Will you fill the forms out by hand or use at-home software and prepare them yourself? Or, will you hand them over to a tax professional? If you’re planning on the former, figure out what software you’re going to use and purchase it. If you decide on the latter, research the professionals in your area and make your appointment NOW!
5. CONTRIBUTE – Do you already have an IRA (Traditional or Roth)? If so, you have until April 15th of this year to make contributions towards the previous year. If you don’t have either of these but have been thinking about opening one, it’s not too late to have contributions count towards the previous year – all you need to do is make your contributions before you file.
Make sure to check back next time for tips 6-10!!!