tax

Tax Season Organization

Tax season is coming and it’s time to get prepared! It makes things easier and alleviates any last-minute scrambles to get things together. Consider last year’s tax season – remember the documents you needed? How does it differ from this year’s? Are there any additional deductions? Start a business? Win some money? Everything plays a role in providing the right documentation that gets you in and out the door.

Here are a few tips:

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File accordingly

Have tax returns in their own space – using an accordion file or file cabinet. A folder for the upcoming tax season needs to have all tax forms in it. Referring back to your files from the previous year helps set it up correctly. Once the tax form is done, just slip a copy of the return into that folder and you’re done.

ID numbers

Social security numbers of every person on the return – it’s a must. Have a business? You’ll need the EIN number of that as well, especially if filing that return along with your personal one.

Receipts

Receipts quickly become chaotic. Using an app that will take a picture, scan, and file it according to sections you created saves time. Each receipt should have a category. Doing this throughout the year gives you an advantage. Just pull up the overview, print, and hand it to your accountant.

Charitable donations

It’s great to give back, but if you’re looking for a write-off, proving what you gave is key. Make note of the organization, what you gave, how much, and if you can obtain a letter, that’s even better.

Shredding

Figuring out what you need and don’t need ahead of time can save you headaches. What about those documents you don’t need? Tax and identity fraud are alive and well. Time to invest in a shredder. That helps you get rid of receipts that aren’t needed and other personal information. It’s also a great way to help you stay ahead of the game.

Filing codes

If you’ve ever experienced tax fraud, you know the IRS sends out a filing code before processing a return. Be proactive and request that code at the beginning of the year. You’ll thank yourself later.

Finding an accountant

If you’re used to filing your own taxes and circumstances have changed, find a good accountant before the end of the year. You’ll be able to get referrals and interview a few before making your final selection. Not having an accountant in place when you need one makes things a little sticky.

These are important considerations for getting organized and ready for tax season. Tax codes change every year. Don’t put yourself in a position to run into penalties. Staying organized throughout the year lessens anxiety and makes things easier. Putting things into perspective and prepping for tax time can keep a smile on your face. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into your accountant’s office with everything you need? Follow these tips and you’ll have a brand new fan.

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