Tax Day? What are you talking about? Tax season is not for a while yet.
That may be true, but it comes quickly. It will be here before you know it! Why not start getting ready now? 2019 could be the year you are totally prepared. In order to help you get there, TYS LLP has laid out 5 simple steps that will help you experience a (relatively) stress-free spring.
First and foremost, get organized!
1. Locate your required tax documents, such as your W2’s, bank mortgage statements, and 1099’s. Now is the time to gather your receipts for charitable donations you’ve made during the year, business receipts, and things that look “important.” Just getting all that together in one place will likely lower your blood pressure and improve your mood. And your accountant will thank you for it! Don’t stress too much about whether or not you have everything – this step is about getting started!
Now is a great time to contribute to your IRA.
2. You can do that right up until tax day. You have a choice – pay your future self or give it to Uncle Sam. If you have any real concerns, run it by your trusted financial advisor or tax preparer. (TYS LLP would welcome the opportunity to help you with your tax preparations when the time comes.)
Maybe 2019 is the year you get help with your taxes or switch to a new accountant, if you feel you weren’t properly served in the past. Make sure you choose a trusted and well-regarded accountant or accounting firm. CPA’s can be amazing in helping you at tax-time. The best part of hiring a professional is that if problems do come up, you won’t be alone. The new tax laws are not any easier to deal with, so hiring an accountant to help you navigate safely might be the best money you have spent all year… or ever.
You might benefit from itemizing your deductions. Unless your tax pro tells you otherwise, you might be leaving money on the table by not itemizing your deductions. The hardest part of this step is finding your documents and receipts… and you have already done that! (See #1!) Are you self-employed or do you own a small business? If so, there could be deductions that you haven’t taken and, therefore, have paid too much in previous years. Get a capable accountant to help you.
And finally, take notes on what you have discovered in preparing your tax return this tax season. Write it down. Your future-self will think you are a genius! It is unlikely you will remember all the twists and turns that you took with your taxes this year when you start again nine or ten months later. Wouldn’t it be great if you could look at some notes to help you with next year’s tax preparation?
Getting ready for the upcoming tax season is not going to be a party, but if you take it step-by-step, it doesn’t have to be a horror show either. Being proactive rather than reactive will facilitate a smoother experience for you AND your accountant! If you have questions, schedule a call or meeting with your trusted advisor from TYS.