Post tax season moves to make now

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With the IRS deadline to file taxes just past, you may be tempted to relax, pull a Scarlett O’Hara and think about next year’s taxes tomorrow.

While that attitude is perfectly understandable, it will cause you to miss an excellent opportunity to make your 2018 tax season much less stressful and more efficient.

First, review the tax form you just filed. Should you be making adjustments? Are you paying too much in taxes? Should you be adjusting your withholdings? Should you be paying estimates? If so, are you calculating your estimates correctly? Are you maximizing your deductible IRA contributions?

If you are unsure about any of these answers, contact us. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

Now is also a good time to set up an organizational system for next year’s taxes. Create a file in which you can collect receipts and other tax documents. Label your receipts manually, or categorize them electronically in real time so you don’t have to go back months later and try to figure out which expenses qualify for tax deductions or exemptions.

Keep track of any changes in your life that might affect your withholdings and/or credits including marital status, children, home ownership, educational expenses, etc.

If you ended up with a particularly jarring tax bill, you can request and submit an Installment Agreement Request Form that will allow you to stretch out your payments.  After you do so, sit down with a professional to figure out what adjustments you can make to prevent a large bill in the future.

Lastly, be sure to track changes in the tax laws as they will affect not only your return next year, but also some of the financial decisions you make throughout the year.  We’ll be writing more posts that note some of the upcoming changes and how they will affect you, so be sure to check back in the coming weeks.

With a little post-season prep work, and some attention throughout the year, you can limit any end of the year surprises or mistakes and make sure you’re getting the most out of the money you’ve earned.