While April may seem far away right now, it is never too early to start on your tax preparation. At least, that’s what tax experts like Steven Klitzner, P.A., of Miami, Florida say. Putting annual preparations off until the last minute can lead to undue stress and mistakes that you would not have made otherwise. To avoid the panic that so many of us experience as the deadline for tax returns looms closer and closer, there are a few things that you can do as early as December to get ready for this important time of year.
But how exactly does one prepare for tax season? Despite what many might think, tax prep can begin months before you see your W-2. In fact, here are a few tips to get you on the right path to getting your tax returns completed in record time, no stress needed.
Begin Filling In Basic Information
Whether you choose to file yourself or use a tax professional to complete your federal tax return, you are going to need to fill in all of the basic identifying information before you can even start getting into the nitty gritty of tax filing. After all, this is one of the most time-consuming and repetitive parts of filing your taxes. Why not get it done ahead of time and save yourself the headache down the road?
Things like your name, home address, dependent status, bank information, and more can be filled out ahead of time. If you typically mail in your tax returns, you can print off the proper forms on the IRS website by logging into your account or creating a new one if you do not already have one. If you usually file online using an e-filing tool such as TurboTax or TaxSlayer, you can start the process now with most. If you prefer to use a certified tax accountant, now is a great time to touch base with your accountant and get their opinion on steps you should be taking to prepare for tax season. After all, an accountant who is familiar with your tax filing status will be better equipped to help you with any necessary early preparation than anyone else.
Make A List Of All Documentation You Need
Just like jolly ole St. Nick, you should be making a list and checking it twice this time of year. A list of all of the documentation you are going to need to accurately fill out your tax return. If you break up the piles and piles of forms and documentation needed for your annual federal tax return, you might find that the task of making this list is easier than you would expect. In fact, at its core, your tax return is little more than a detailed checklist of all the money that came in and out of your account in the past year. Unfortunately, many of those items on your checklist will likely need documentation to back them up and to let you know the exact figures to report.
Getting all of these forms and receipts together can be a time-consuming task, so making a list with all of these papers on it as soon as possible will ensure that you do not have to rush too much. You might even want to give yourself a timeline to check off each item, according to when you will have access to them. Items like large purchase sales receipts, for example, can be accessed at any point after the purchase while investment reports will need to wait until closer to the time to file so that you get the most accurate numbers. Breaking tasks like these into smaller, more manageable goals can help you check every item off your checklist without stressing too much about it.
Gather As Much Of This As Possible
When it comes to filing tax returns, there is a lot of paperwork involved. If you made any large purchases such as real estate, vehicles, or anything else that will count as a personal asset, knowing where your bill of sale is can help save you time in the end.
While you will not receive your W-2 or 1099 tax forms for a little bit longer if you have received any connected cash payments over $10,000 to your business you will need to gather whatever bill of sale or receipts you have for those transactions as they will need to be reported along with your business income.
Any other deduction you plan to claim will also need to be accounted for. If you claim your car and mileage as a business expense, it is best to gather all of the receipts and mileage reports that you have accumulated so far so that you can simply add to them as you go about your regular business. If you claim a home office and claim part of your internet and utility bills, you will need to gather those as well.
Do Your Research
Let’s be honest: most of us are not tax experts. Whether you plan on using the services of a certified accountant or other tax professional or embark on your tax journey solo, you are going to want to know as much about the deductions and write-offs that you may qualify for as possible. After all, even if you are working with a tax professional, they cannot know every expense you took on throughout the year. Millions of Americans leave money on the table every year simply because they did not realize that they were qualified for one deduction or another. Understanding your lifestyle and expenditures in a way that only you can may help you spot these saving opportunities.
There are dozens of circumstances that you might find yourself in that can help you qualify for a cut on your taxes when the time comes. If you are an independent contractor, a working student, paying back student loans, using solar panels, or benefiting the government in other ways in your day-to-day life, it’s worth looking into. There are more deductions than you think, from home offices to electric cars, it can’t hurt to look.
Check Your Past Years’ Status
Logging into your IRS account and checking your tax filing status is something you should be doing every single year. This will allow you to see if you have any outstanding balances that you did not realize you had or if any part of your last tax return was not accepted for one reason or another. The IRS communicates through certified letters sent to your primary mailing address. If you do not monitor your mail closely, you can miss out on vital information about your tax filing status, and checking your online account may be the only way to find out before other issues arise.
Being totally caught up on all of your tax forms before the next tax season begins is going to help you keep all of your documents in order and avoid the extra stress of playing catch-up in the middle of your regular tax prep.
Call Steve Klitzner For All Your Tax Issues!
As we go into the 2022 tax season, you are more and more likely to see issues with previous years come up. If this is the case, you should see professional tax relief assistance to ensure you get the best deal possible. Owing money to the IRS can be scary, but tax resolution lawyers have the experience in dealing with the IRS that regular taxpayers do not get. Attorneys like Steven Klitzner are there to help you navigate the fog of policies and paperwork in the most efficient and effective way possible. As an experienced tax attorney, he and his team deal with the IRS on a regular basis and have the know-how to advise you of options for resolving your tax problems.
The IRS officers are constantly making decisions that are in the government’s best interest–you deserve someone in your corner to protect your best interests, too. If you live in Miami or the surrounding area, call The Law Office of Steven Klitzner today at (786) 977-2924 to set up your free consultation and get that much closer to IRS compliance!