Although Tax Day feels like it was just yesterday, it’s coming up on April 15. Today is a great time to start getting all your paperwork together to ensure a stress-free filing this upcoming spring. If you’re ready to start prepping for one of the most dreaded days of the year, here are a few tips to help you get started, beginning with organizing your finances.
Although you should be doing this year-round, you must start organizing your finances, whether you plan on doing taxes yourself or seek help from a professional. This means you should start looking for your 1099s, W2s, bank statements, as well as any other financial information that will be important to reference, such as business and donation receipts. Fortunately, by organizing your finances early on, you’ll give yourself plenty of time to find all the necessary documentation to file your taxes
It might be tempting to do taxes on your own (for free), but not everyone has the experience or the time to do so. Instead, you should consider trusting a professional tax specialist, or certified public accountant, that can adequately prepare your taxes for April 15. Another perk of using a qualified accountant is their ability to help you understand tax regulations and assist you in any changes to your tax filing. Also, if any problems pop up when filing your tax returns, a tax return specialist will be able to act as the “middleman” between you and the IRS.
For those with many deductible expenses, or with extremely high expenses, itemizing your deductions can be extremely beneficial. Fortunately, this process won’t take you a lot of effort to do, and it offers a high ROI for most. However, you will need to find records of all the expenditures you plan to itemize on your tax filing. If you want to itemize your mortgage interest payments, you’ll also need to gather mortgage documents, so your itemizations aren’t turned away by the IRS when you file.
If you’re wondering what you can itemize on your taxes, your answer is going to be broad. You can itemize a great deal of deductible expenses, such as charitable donations or making payments to your retirement fund. Also, if you’re self-employed, you can itemize even more! However, to make sure you aren’t missing any opportunities to itemize, you should work closely with a tax professional when filing.
Please be aware that itemizing deductions isn’t the best option for everyone. With the recent increase in the standard deduction introduced by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many individual taxpayers see a higher return by taking the standard deduction. Be sure to discuss which option is best for you with your CPA.
After filing your taxes, you should take a look at what you did well in addition to what you can improve on. This way, you can make filing next year even easier. If your filing system worked great this year, keep it consistent for next year, especially if it means working with a tax specialist you trust and helped you get a big refund. However, if you had a hard time obtaining all your financial records, you should plan on using a different system for filing next year.
It’s never been a better time to start getting prepared for another tax season. Although tax preparation in Reno, NV, can seem like a lot of work, it’s easier than you think. Hopefully, by following this short guide, you can get all your necessary documentation in order and hire a qualified tax filing specialist to assist whenever you need it. To get connected with a professional accountant to answer any of your tax-related questions, contact Advantage Tax and Business Services today at 775-622-4804.
Lawrence Wurzel, E.A.